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Phil Johnson
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Since 1993 I've taught hundreds of students how be better guitarists, pianists, and flautists.  I have a BA in Music from San Jose State University and I'm also a nationally touring performing artists with 4 CDs and 3 DVDs released. 
I specialize in writing about guitar education, songwriting, and a bit of music business info.  I'm always happy to offer free advice at my main website www.GetHotOnElectricGuitar.com

Recent Posts

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Lifestyle
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
Dating Advice For Geeks And Nerds

There are as many types of geeks and nerds as there are muggles in the world. But finding YOUR geek to date doesn't have to be that hard. Geeks really aren't that different from the rest of the world. Except we're intelligent, curious, romantic... Ok, maybe we are different from the rest of the world. Check out these tips to find the nerd girl or geek guy of your dreams.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
How To Fix String Skipping Problems On Guitar

As you know, skipping strings on guitar is super easy. And if you have a problem with it, you're a loser. Just kidding! Every guitarist encounters problems with string skipping. And with a little concerted effort, the freedom to makes lots of mistakes, and the handy techniques I'm going to give you, you'll be leaping over strings like Superman over buildings.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
Where To Find Great Standup Comedy In San Francisco

San Francisco has long been an artistic hotbed in a variety or art forms, but maybe none more consistently than standup comedy. From the heyday of the Holy City Zoo and The Purple Onion to the present day, the city that spawned Robin William, Dana Carvey, The Smothers Brothers, and Phyllis Diller continues to spew forth great comedic minds. Here's where you can find them...

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
How To Really Learn A New Guitar Scale

Scales. Ick. Even the word brings to mind countless hours of sluggishly pounding through one boring exercise after another. There's a better way. I'm going to show you a way to both learn your new scale, and how to effectively improvise with it. And the process only takes 15 minutes. This goes for simple or complex scales. Learn how to get the boring stuff out of the way quick!

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
Where To See Comedy In Sacramento California

Sacramento, California has a vibrant little comedy scene featuring national headliners and extremely talented regional performers. Whether you're a local or just coming to town for a visit, you can bet on finding a top notch standup comedy show to keep your evenings full of laughs. Here's 6 suggestions of comedy venues to visit.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
Guitar Picking Styles For Beginners

Beginning guitar players will sometimes neglect their right hand to concentrate on all the action in the left. But the right hand holds the keys to lots of different textures and styles. This overview of different picking styles will help you discover some of those textures and incorporate them into your guitar playing.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
6 years ago
Using Intervals To Read Guitar Music Notation Easier

Beginning guitarists often ask how it's possible to read the notes on the page fast enough to sight read a piece at an appropriate tempo. It seems to take far to long to name each note and put it on the fretboard. While that's good place to start in reading music, it's not the fastest way. Experienced guitarists don't read each note individually. They read intervals which are the distance between the notes. I'm going to give you and easy shorthand trick for reading intervals quickly.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
4 Tips On Switching Guitar Chords

Every beginning guitarist has problems switching between chords without dropping beats. But by following these 4 simple steps you'll be able to go from one chord to the next with little effort and no more missed beats.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
The Perfect Guitar Practice Session

You can improve your guitar playing faster if you have a solid plan for how and what to practice. Here's how to be your own guitar teacher, pull yourself out of a playing rut, and become and improve your guitar skills faster.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Study Checklist For Beginning Guitarists

Going it alone as a beginning guitarist can be challenging because you don't get the road map through the musical journey that a teacher can provide. It's much harder to learn intermediate and advanced guitar concepts if you don't have the basics down first. I'm going to give you a checklist of guitar concepts every guitarist needs to know, and the order you should learn them in for the easiest advancement.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Guitar Notes For Beginners

Learning the beginner guitar notes in the open position is very easy. In guitar jargon, the open position is the first three frets on each string. Using my proven system you can learn them all in 20 minutes. Let's get started!

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
How To Improvise Fearlessly On Guitar

The biggest thing that holds any guitarist back from being the fiery soloist they imagine in their head is fear. Your brain gets in the way of what your hands want to do. Use these tips to help your loosen up, get over the fear, shove your brain aside, and get to making great music.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
How You Can Practice Guitar Without A Guitar

Have you ever been sitting somewhere, bored to tears, wishing you had a guitar in your hands so you could get some practicing done? Of course, there's no way to be a great guitarist without actually wrapping your hand around a neck regularly. But these are some great techniques that will help your guitar playing even if you're empty handed.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
How To Easily Transpose Keys On Guitar

Let's say you're walking into a jam session with a few tunes that you know well. Then a singer and harmonica player show up and they want to play the songs in a different key. Fear not! It's super easy to change keys on guitar. With this simple system you can fit all the chords into a new key and be ready to jam in no time.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Create Cooler Guitar Chord Progressions

If you feel like you're getting stuck in the same old I IV V chord progressions you've played over and over again, you're not alone. You can make your songwriting better and playing more fun if you learn how to juice up your chord choices. Let me give you a couple easy tricks to get out of that rut.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Should You Get An Acoustic Or Electric Guitar?

The first question most prospective guitar students ask me is whether they should start on acoustic or electric guitar. This is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each. You should be able to make a decision from there.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Popular 3-Chord Beginner Guitar Songs

The greatest songs aren't necessarily the most complex ones. In this article I'll give you a five must have songs for your repertoire and the chords you need to play them.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Learn To Bend Strings On Guitar

The ability to bend strings on guitar is a huge expressive advantage over many other instruments. Bending gives your melody lines a very vocal quality and it's easy to learn. There's a few issues that pop up on learning bends that we'll take care of here.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
Lead Guitar Hammer Ons and Pull Offs

One of the coolest aspects of guitar is all the ways we have of ornamenting notes to make them sound more interesting. Techniques like vibrato, rakes, slides, and bends, give the guitar a very vocal quality. In this article we'll talk about two must-have techniques that form the backbone of every lead guitarist's arsenal of tricks.

Entertainment
by Phil Johnson
7 years ago
How To Find New Rhythm Guitar Strum Patterns

A common complaint among young guitarists who have been playing for a little while (especially if they're self taught) is that they're stuck in the same old strum patterns and don't know how to break out and invent new ones. These are a couple simple techniques to help break up your patterns and run into things you never thought of playing.

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