Acoustic Guitar Resources:
Acoustic Guitar Technique
- Guitar Lesson
Archive at Harmony-Central, MIT
- An archive of the now-defunct Guitar Lesson of the Week archive,
Jim's Chord Study lessons, and many of the lessons from OLGA.
- This site offers an extensive collection of free instructional material,
including fingerboard charts showing chords, scales, modes, and arpeggios (with dots or
intervals indicated on the fingerboard), as well as jamtracks, interactive
instructional material, an online "fake book," and other material. Much of the
material is also available for purchase in PDF format or on audio CDs; the
profits help maintain the site. Ignore the obnoxious sound file that greets
you on the opening page; just click through to a wealth of useful material.
- The Essential Guitar Guide
- Dale Churchett maintains this highly-rated online "practical approach
to music theory" for guitarists. It discusses intervals, chord types,
scales, and arpeggios, all with clear graphics and text. A good site
for beginners who know little music theory; it does not go into depth,
but will surely get you started.
- Vision Music
- Vision Music is the work of guitarist/bassist Mark Stefani, and offers a huge
amount of guitar instructional material for free. Although there is an emphasis
on jazz and blues for electric guitar, there is plenty here likely to interest
acoustic guitarists. Most lessons are in standar notation with tablature, and
often have MP3 sound files demonstrating the material. Topics include scales,
modes, chords, stylistic examples, and transcriptions of signature licks of
famous players. Also included are MIDI files with "jam tracks" for students
to practice improvising to. An outstanding service to the online guitar
- Dansm's Acoustic Guitar Page
acoustic guitar page by Dan Smith. It is noteworthy for its
attention to issues facing beginners, and includes
a number of basic lessons on such topics as chord theory and fingerpicking.
Guitar Magazine's Home Page
- They provide tutorials (with audio accompaniment) on a variety of
topics. At the time of this compilation, tutorials are available on
scales, ear training, beginner's country and blues, and other topics.
Dimitris Dranidis's Introduction to Music Theory for Guitar
(or try here
- An introduction to chord and harmony theory from a guitarist's
- Guide To Chord Formation
- Howard Wright's extensive FAQ document on chord theory for guitarists,
including coverage of intervals, triads, and many advanced and altered
- Chord of
- Gawain Reifsnyder, guitar instructor and guitarist for the band
Take 6, offers an in-depth look at a different guitar chord every
week. Includes a complete description, photo, diagram with tab and
a sound clip. This site is hosted by Guitar Net.
- An Introduction to Harp Harmonics
- Bo Parker's nice RMMGA post describing the cascading artificial harmonic
technique originated by Chet Atkins and Lenny Breau, based on articles
by Larry Coryell in Guitar Player.
- The Rough Guide to Harmony
- Guy Snape's introduction to the basics of Western harmony, based on a lecture
Guy gave at a 1999 UK gathering of RMMGA guitarists. It includes coverage of
the major scale and its related chords (triads and 4-note chords), minor scales,
the cylce of fourths, common progressions and substitutions, and altered chords.
It includes downloadable MIDI files demonstrating various concepts.
- Western Swing/Texas Contest-Style Backup Guitar
- Bo Parker's nice RMMGA post describing this style of accompaniment,
including some arrangements of tunes with backup parts.
- Accent On Music
- Mark Hanson's publishing company, Accent On Music, hosts a constantly
changing selection of free tablature, as well as descriptions of Hanson's
highly regarded commercial publications.
- Tom's Guitar Instruction
- Guitar lessons online from engineer Tom Jager. Includes discussion
of the CAGED system for visualizing/organizing chords; chord
theory; scales; modes. Includes nice GIF diagrams along with the text.
- Andy Polon Guitar Playin' Pages
- This site offers lessons for fingerpicking acoustic blues
a la John Hurt, Mance Lipscomb, etc.. It includs three chapters
from Andy Polon's fingerpicking book in HTML format, including
many tab examples.
- The Hidden Art - Guitar Lessons
- A series of lessons on fingerpicking and arpeggio excercises,
hosted by The Hidden Art,
a web site focussing on underground music and music and art education.
- This site hosts interviews and lessons with a few famous players
(e.g., Christopher Parkening and John Tapella), and also hosts a
(with ear training exercises included). The site is constantly
growing; recent additions include a large encyclopedia of scales
and many new lessons, and planned additions include lessons
for clarinet and trumpet. A slow server, many graphics, and
many layers of pages will test your patience, but stick it out
and you'll find lots of useful information.
- Guitar Haven
- This site hosts a variety of lessons on various levels in
a variety of formats (plain text, PostScript, HTML) from a variety
of authors on a variety of topics. Variety is the key word here!
Very much worth checking out.
- The InterChart Home Page
- "An interactive scale and chord chart generator" in a Java applet.
The screen shots look impressive, but I could not get it to run with
Netscape 3.0 on Unix with 32 MB of memory.
- Learn the secrets of this widely-used approach to guitar playing
that will let you sound just like your favorite guitar heroes,
even if you've never played guitar before!
- Guitar Page
- Gianluca Verrengia offers a few free guitar lessons, and also
additional lessons for subscribers, at this site in Italy. The lessons
are mainly directed toward electric guitarists playing funk, blues, and
- Carvel's Guitar Page
- Carvel Avis's page of "tips, tricks and licks" in a variety of
styles (jazz, classical, rock, and country), with extensive use of
RealAudio so you can hear the material as well as see it. Informal.
- Dave's GTR Instruction
- Instructional material directed towards
beginning and intermediate players produced by Dave Torres, a professional
instructor. Topics include Beginner and Intermediate lead and rhythm
playing, and reading chords, scales, and tab. Dave has also posted tab
for his own arrangements to a number of classical, fingerstyle, and
- Dan's Guitar Stuff
- A small collection of lessons in HTML with fretboard graphics focusing
on blues and jazz, with MIDI files providing audio examples.
The site is maintained by Atlanta Georgia-based
guitarist Dan Coy, who also offers email support. The lessons are
authored by he and Professor George Miller.
- Jazz Education
Lessons at UNSW
- The Ultimate On Line Gutiar Tutor
- A GeoCities site (inaccessible to Unix browsers under the SunOS, which
means me), alleged to step you through buying your first
guitar all the way to intermediate level playing.
Lessons at Trinity???
- Jos Durkstra's Guitar
- Jos is a guitar teacher in Zwolle-Holland; his page offers a different
guitar lick and interesting chord each month, as well as CD reviews.
- Giovanni Chierico's home page has links to his Java-Tab applet
(in Italian or English) that will display a table resembling a
fretboard indicating the positions of notes in an arpeggio or scale.
The interface and output are very awkward, but it's an interesting
start on using Java to address this topic.
- The German Flamenco Site (US mirror here)
- In English, German, and Spanish. An extensive collection of
Flamenco music and dance information. Contains...???
- Hypertext Guitar Method
- Rudimentary lessons in HTML format with inline images providing
standard notation (no tab) and photos of hand positions.
The first lesson, covering very basic notation issues, is free.
To get the second lesson, you must pass a short and simple quiz.
Subsequent lessons are $10 per lesson.
- Omni Guitar Online Lessons
- Ted Viera, author of the "Essential Concepts" guitar instruction book,
offers excerpts from his book at this site in plain text, with notes
indicated only by note name (no tab or notation). Ted is an electric jazz player.
If you are looking for printed instructional material, check the
sites below, but also check out the distributors of printed
music listed on the Music page.
- Homespun Tapes
- Based in Woodstock (yes, the Woodstock), New York, Homespun
produces a wide variety of audio and video instruction tapes at all
levels of proficiency. Many are from top fingerstyle guitarists, such
as Martin Simpson, Preston Reed, Laurence Juber, and David Wilcox.
They offer instructional material for many other instruments as well.
Their videos are consistently highly rated by RMMGA readers.
- Accent On Music
- Accent on Music is run by Mark Hanson, one of the most
talented and highly acclaimed transcribers of acoustic guitar music.
They offer various instructional books and videos by Mark,
including collections of transcriptions of music by Leo Kottke,
Martin Simpson, Paul Simon, and others; guides to various styles
of playing such as Travis picking or solo fingerpicking; and
books on using alternate tunings. They also carry CDs
from selected fingerstyle guitarists.
- National Guitar Summer Workshop
- NGSW hosts several summer workshops around the USA focusing on various
guitar styles, including an acoustic workshop that has featured as
teachers such luminaries as Martin Simpson, Ed Gerhard, Pierre Bensusan,
and Preston Reed. Feedback from RMMGA participants has been
- Music Lessons by Texas Music
- Instructional videos for all the major instruments used in bluegrass
or country music.
- Lessons Online -- Slack Key Guitar With Keola Beamer
- The master of slack key himself provides lessons via tablature in Acrobat files
and audio examples in RealAudio files, for the low price of $9.95 for a three month
series of lessons.
- The Only Complete Guitar Chord Method
- Reijo Hiltunen's book on guitar chord instruction, teaching a
simple method that will enable you to construct complex chords quickly
on the fretboard. The method will also help you quickly name chords
that you have built or figured out by ear. The site provides a
PDF file demonstrating the technique. The book comes with a
half-page card that serves as a portable reference. Highly recommended
by some RMMGA readers and several professional reviewers.
- Guitar Chord Theory
- This site advertises a book of this title.
- Sound Connection Guitar Workshop
- Instructor Ande Flavelle of Caldwell, NJ offers a series of courses
in various styles of guitar playing and ear training for $14.95 each.
- eMedia Guitar Method
- eMedia has produced a CD-ROM guitar tutorial for acoustic and
electric guitarists that includes 60 lessons with over 30 video
clips and over 3 hours of audio from instructor/performer Kevin Garry,
as well as an electronic tuner, metronome, and chord dictionary.
Their site provides a description, reviews, sample screens, and
order info, as well as a free Java version of their chord
dictionary and a collection of links.
- Charanga Presents GuitarCoach
- GuitarCoach is a "CD-ROM guitar tutor for beginners. Specially commissioned video,
audio and graphics integrated to provide enjoyable and effective guitar
lessons." The course is divided into 5 levels of increasing difficulty.
Several styles are covered. It is for PCs only.
- The Ultimate Guitar Workout (also at map.com)
- A book with audio tape (and money back guarantee) with exercises
in tab and fretboard diagrams for electric and acoustic players. The
site includes a detailed description, ordering info, and scans of
sample pages of the book.
- Today's Hero Guitar Instruction
- Ryan Cain, a Guitar Institute of Technology graduate who has been
teaching professionally since the mid 80s, runs this site that lets
you access his lessons online for a fee by using a password. A free
sample lesson on modes, including extensive fretboard graphics, is available
at the web site.
- Joni's Guitar School
- Joni has been teaching guitar to students from nursery school age
to retirement age since the early 80s, and offers here "personal guitar
tuition over the internet." The site currently offers a beginner's
course, providing HTML lessons with accompanying soundfiles, and
feedback via email. The site offers free examples from the lessons.
- Kent Murdick's Guitar Catalog
- Kent writes instructional books that focus on the classical guitar,
including music from the traditional classical repertoire and also music
from the jazz, rags, and latin traditions.
General Music Theory
These are just a few of the more general music sites that may interest
- What Makes
- Although not directed toward guitarists, we just had to include this
interesting web version of the Franklin Institute Science Museum's
traveling exhibit on music, science, and technology. It includes
online "exhibits" demonstrating concepts such as intervals and modes.
- Absolute Pitch on the Internet
- A web site hosting information that approaches absolute pitch
("perfect pitch") in a scientific way, including a resource guide to
literature on the subject.
- The Ultimate Chord Chart (Acrobat Reader PDF file)
- Phillip J. Facoline's five page chart of fingerings for nearly 1000 chords in all twelve
keys. Also available as a PostScript file.
- OGRE: Online Guitar
- A web form interface to Pascal Obry's GUITARE software, providing
fingerings for a chord whose symbol (name) you enter via the form.
GUITARE is available from OLGA sites.
- On Line Chord Directory
- A large table of chord names arranged by key, each a link to a Java applet that
displays several fingerings for the chord in your browser window. 15 chord
types are available in each key. Collectively, 100s of fingerings are
- Hundreds of scales (with anywhere from 2 to 10 notes per octave), in standard
notation, tablature, and fretboard diagrams.
- The "Modes"
- Mark Stefani's brief but clear single-page presentation of the major
modes, in standard notation and tablature.
- eMedia Guitar Method
- eMedia has produced a commercial CD-ROM guitar tutorial for acoustic and
electric guitarists described above (in the "Commercial" section),
as well as a free Java version of their chord
some basic chords. The fingering provided is not always the most common
- Tuning the Guitar
- Guitar builder and repairman Paul Guy here offers
detailed discussion of many aspects of
guitar tuning and intonation , in several articles. Included are practical tuning
tips, as well as pages on the history of tuning and temperament and discussion of the
Buzz Feiten tuning system. The best way to access this page is through the "Guitar Handbook"
at Paul Guy Guitars. Paul
has authored a textbook on guitar tuning. Although he started his musical career in
his home country of England, he has been hand crafting electric guitars and doing acoustic
and electric repairs in Stockholm, Sweden for so many years that he considers himself an
"honorary Viking." 8-)
- A list of some alternate tunings
- Ted Hermary of McGill University posted this list of about 20
alternate tunings (with common names and tuning instructions) to RMMGA.
- Alternate Tuning Guide for Contemporary
- A resource created by readers of the email@example.com
list server and the RMMGA newsgroup listing tunings to over a hundred
contemporary folk songs performed in alternate tunings.
- Alternate Guitar Tuning Applet/Application
- A well-executed Java applet that displays chords or scales as
note names or note numbers on a guitar fretboard, in a variety of tunings.
A wide variety of chord and scale types is supported. A stand-alone version is
also available as a free download for use off-line on Windows systems.
- The Joni Mitchell Discussion List Guitar Tablature Database
- This extensive and informative site is a labor of love created and maintained by guitarist
members of the Joni Mitchell Discussion List. It includes a form-accessible database of Mitchell's
tunings and of on-line transcriptions of her music. It also has a clear discussion of Mitchell's
tuning numbering system; these can help a player organize tunings via "tuning patterns."
- A Justly-Tuned Guitar
- Classical guitarist David Canright here discusses his use of alternate intonations on the guitar,
including use of interchangeable fretboards. For further background on the use
of just temperment, see his home page.
Isles Music for Fingerstyle Guitar
- Art Edelstein maintains this page that hosts a list of
Celtic fingerstlye guitarists (with links to web sites when available),
a selected discography, a discussion of use of alternate tunings in
this music, descriptions of instructional books on the topic, and links of interest
to lovers of this music.
- Arbuckle's Celtic Guitar Tunes
- Includes tunes in dadgad, dgdgad & dgdgcd tunings in standard notation and tab,
and chord charts for Dropped-D and DADGAD tunings.
- Han's DADGAD Guitar Page
- This site hosts several charts of chord fingerings in DADGAD tuning.
- Accent On Music Publications
- This site describes commercial publications
by Mark Hanson, including his Complete Book Of Alternate Tunings.
- Precision Strobe Tuners
- This site describes the precision strobe tuners for sale by
Jim Campbell of Ann Arbor, Michigan; but it also includes a number
of useful links on tuning systems, including discussions of the
limitations of equal temperment and of the Feiten tuning system
- Relating Tuning and Timbre
- The text of an article by William Sethares
from Experimental Musical Instruments
discussing the theory of alternative temperments to the equally tempered
scale usually used on the guitar. An extensive technical treatment with
many well-executed diagrams and plots.
- A revised & updated version of an article which first appeared in Guitar Review, Summer 1990,
on intonation of classical guitars. It describes how to compensate the saddle and
nut to improve intonation.
- The Compensated Nut
- A revised version of a 1992 article by Stephen Delft for NewZealand Musician,
describing nut compensation for improving intonation.
A thread from RMMGA???
- Fingernails and Fingerpickers
- An article by acclaimed transcriber/teacher Mark Hanson, hosted by
Accent On Music, his publishing company.
- Finger, Hand, and Wrist Problems
- Repetitive Strain
Injury (RSI) Primer (with
a special page on
- Paul Marxhausen, an engineering electronics technician who is active
on both computer keyboards and guitar fretboards, has put together a
great web resource on RSI including links and references to other sources
of information about various types of RSI (tendonitis, carpal tunnel
- Articles by Dr. Timothy Jameson
- These articles were written by Dr. Timothy J. Jameson, D.C., C.C.S.P.,
for various music publications. Dr. Jameson is the director and owner of
Bayshore Chiropractic Holistic Health Center for Performing Arts Injuries
located at 3319 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley, CA 94546.
He has graciously allowed copies of his articles to
be archived here. You'll also find these and other resources at
his Bayshore Chiropractic Holistic Health Center Web Page. Dr. Jameson also hosts a
Musician's Health Page
that contains these and other resources:
- Tendonitis Thread from RMMGA
- Tendonitis has been a frequent topic of discussion on the RMMGA
newsgroup. This is the text of a recent thread on the topic that
included much useful information.
- Typing Injury
FAQ: A Guide to Comfortable Computing
- The home page for the Typing Injury FAQ and Typing Injury Archive,
including links to many other resources on RSI.
- Computer Health Resources
- Hearing Problems
- A support newsgroup for victims of tinnitus, a condition whose symptoms
include "ringing" in your ears or other noises perceived in the
absence of any external noise source.
- Tinnitus FAQ
The FAQ document on tinnitus maintained by Mark Bixby, also available
as plain text by ftp from
at the MIT USENET FAQ FTP Archive. It is posted to
a variety of newsgroups, including
frequented by pro audio enthusiasts
including a number of engineers at studios and mastering houses. This is
a good forum to post queries about such things as good earplugs for
musicians and tips for getting quality sound at moderate volumes.
- The web site for H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education Awareness for Rockers), an organization devoted to educating the
public to the dangers of hearing loss and tinnitus. The site includes
information documents on hearing, hearing loss, tinnitus, earplugs,
etc., including information and comments from well-known musicians.
Tom Loredo /