30 March 2011

Une Belle Histoire - Chord Progression / Guitar Exercise

A French song that made its way into the ears of Dutch people because one fat fellow covered it in half French and half Dutch. Well anyway, I like it.
It has a nice open chord progression -together with the supposedly fast strumms- this is a great exercise to practice my left handed swiftness.

The progression goes a follows:
Am - Dm7 | G - CM7 | FM7 | Esus4 - E

These are the chords shown in their diagram:

24 March 2011

Prevent Wrist Injuries focus on Guitar Players

As a guitar player you've got to be careful with your hands. You won't see an injury coming. There's no indicator, you just feel it when its to late (Thats what happened to me).
The stretches that I show will help you prevent getting stressed muscles, tendonitis [inflammation of the tendons], carpal tunnel syndrome, and will increase stamina.

I never cared about stretching and kept on playing after I was well aware of the tendonitis, eventually causing swellings and fluids to settle in my wrist joint.
So be careful and stretch, even though this vid is showed in a 'fun' way, you should take it serious!

Except for your flexibility and muscle strength, technique is also very important in preventing injuries. Be sure to view my vid on the right wrist position while playing guitar.

And be prepared for an update vid where I'll talk about what you can do when its already to late and you developed an injury.

Last of all I would like to quote Brad Hartoin, who wrote an excellent post on this subject and even goes deeper into details. The deep tissue massage is something a want to talk about at a later time.

"Muscles work in antagonistic pairs. In the forearm we have flexors and extensors. When one is shortened, the other must stretch. The stretched muscle is in eccentric contraction; it must checkrein or hold back against its partner. With the extreme bent wrist position of playing a guitar, the extensors (top or front of forearm) are fighting against flexion, trying to maintain anatomical position. Over time, this lengthens and weakens the extensors while tightening and shortening the flexors. Eventually Imbalances in muscle length and tension produce pain, weakness, and dysfunction. By performing deep tissue massage on the forearm flexors, we can decrease their tension and the load they put on the extensors. By putting some slack back in the flexors, we make it easier and less fatiguing (less pain) for the extensors to support the flexed-wrist position." - BradHartoin, 6 July 2009

19 March 2011

Michael Bolton - Ready for You

Man this song was hard, but also, so nice! Michael Bolton is really a master in song writing. I love his music. So my right hand muscles finally memorized the chords and I could play them, but I still needed 'Injured Tom' for the fast fingerpicking. So while I'm training my left handed play for not needing to play right handed anymore [in this awesome way] I also stress my wrist a lot. So I guess its gonna take a while before I do something like this again. Prolly when I don't need the right-hand guitar anymore..

Anyways here is the vid:

Now for the chords, I bet you like 'm. I'm gonna make another video, which is going to be an instructional vid, and that will be tomorrow! [Link to the chords]

18 March 2011

Michael Bolton - Ready for You [Chords]

First off I'm showing these tabs as I played them left-handed. I can't play barred chords yet. So, what I'm saying, if, you can play barred chords, than just do so and don't play these rip-off chords that I had to play.

Something theory, the base [root] note is gonna determine the name of the chord, and the overall sound of the chord. In a lot of pop songs a bass guitar just plays the root note of a simple minor or major chord. In this song its a bit more difficult.

Example: a C-Major is build up from the following notes: C-E-G , doesn't matter in which order, as long as the lowest note is gonna be a C-note. So if you have a bass player, the guitar could also just play E-G-E-G, but with the bass guitarists low C the chord in the song would still sound and feel like a C-major.
Now, for example a Am7 consists of the notes A-C-E-G, so if the guitarist plays an C-major (C-E-G) but the bass-guitar plays a low A, the sound and feeling of the chord would be that of an A minor 7th.

Chord names
I'm naming the chords as they are played in the song, together with the bass note. But in my left-handed open-chord playing attempt (chords diagrams) I couldn't play all the full chords, so if you play this song as Tom-Lefty and you don't have a bass player with you, you would miss some of the feeling of this song. But its still close to the original.
If you are an advanced guitar player, find the best shape-position for the chords names on your own.


Artist: Michael Bolton
Song: Ready for You
Key: A Major

In short these are the chords:

F#m add9 | Bsus2 | F#m/A | G#m |

A | E | F#m | D - F/D

I'd recommend you play them using a capo on the 4th fret.
Chords would look like this:

...F#madd9 - Bsus2 - F#m/A - G#m
e |---5-------7-------5-------4-----|
B |---7-------7-------7-------4-----|
G |---6-------6-------6-------4-----|
D |---6-------4-------7-------6-----|
A |---4-----------------------6-----|
E |---------------------------4-----|


e |--5----7-----5-----5------5------|
B |--5----9-----7-----7------6------|
G |--6----9-----6-----7------5------|
D |--7----9-----4-----7------4------|
A |--7----7-----------5-------------|
E |--5------------------------------|

There's also a bridge in the song that I haven't played. I've been told these are the chords.

|D - - - |Bm9 - - - |F#m - - - |B/D# - - - |
|D - - - |Bm9 - - - |F#m - - - |E7 - - - - |

If you're looking for the chord-diagrams and some more info about the chord names than follow the link to the next page..


15 March 2011

Bruno Mars - Just the way you are

Yesterday I came up with an Idea. Actually, there where a few ideas floating around in my mind. I wanted to try a song I liked on the left handed guitar, I thought about using the capo.
It's also been a while since I played something new on the harmonica. I even got a mail from someone on youtube asking me to record another song with the harmonica :)!
And last of all, I had the idea of playing with a couple of 'me' together. Well those ideas came together, and here... the result:

I transposed to song to C-Major. The chords are: C-Am-FM7-C(+highG). Tom regular started fingerpicking the chords, while Tom Lefty stroke the chords at each first count. At the chorus Tom regular starts to strum the barred chords while Tom Lefty does some 'pulling on the strings' lol.

Anyway, also for who likes to know (ultra-noobs only, else you should try to find it yourself, don't be lazy, you'll get better at it!). Just the way you are (cropped version) - Lyrics plus the melody (in C): I'll add later :P

Wrist Position while playing guitar

I have questioned this a lot when I was a beginning guitar player. It wasn't easy to find the right answer, but I got it.

What is the correct position for your wrist when you're playing guitar?

I chose the wrong position. First of all you should always try to keep your arm/wrist/fingers as relaxed as possible. This goes for guitar playing, piano, and also just writing. Although an incorrect position, or lets say 'bad technique' doesn't necessarily mean that you'll hurt yourself, there is an increased risk.
Bad technique + my body did result in injury. So take it as a warning. I did play the guitar for about 5 years with no problems. Later on I started to notice, and before I knew it it was to late and my wrist got f'ed up.

I'll explain the nature of these injuries in another post later on. For now you have to take my word that one technique is the right one, and the other the wrong. But as I said there are enough guitar players that use this 'bad technique' and don't hurt themselves.

Lets take a look at the following pictures:

Wrong position. To much stress on the muscles.

Nice, relaxed.

This is a natural position.

Take a look at the vid. I must say this was taped on-the-fly and at times I'm not talking very clear. It's on the bottom of the stretch page

If you think you already know how to grab and grip the guitar the most relaxed way, take the test! Quiz on technique.

11 March 2011

Fingerpicking Exercise Enrique Iglesias Hero

So.. the last exercise that I'm gonna busy myself with. I've now got three exercises that I'm gonna train myself at the coming two weeks. Need to get my.. basics right.
Also I've you havn't seen it already, I'm keeping a progression time-line. It'll be fun as I advance.

If you also want to practice the verses of 'Hero' I'll give you the chords. Remember to grab the whole chord and not just the bit that you're fingerpicking. It's for practicing purposes remember? You need that chord in your muscle-memory, to be able to grab it always. (If you want more info on fingerpicking, I'm gonna post an article soon.)
Here are the chords:

Two fingers next to eachother in the Dsus4? Am I mad? Nah, no need to leave that 2nd finger. It's very popular to play a Dmajor and flick that pinky on and off the high E string. So just get used to it, Dmajor + pinky = Dsus4. You get your pinky there and get it strong!

When I started

The day after I started the blog I shot a vid of the exercises I'm currently working on. I've got one exercise to prepare myself for barred chords (a bit early but **** it).One exercise to practice on plugging the strings and one exercise for fingerpicking. And fortunately (for an increase in fun-factor) it are all riffs from songs that I like!

Btw I think thats something every guitar teacher should do. Pick some populair songs as soon as you can. I know guys that are playing the guitar for 6 months and still havn't learned a single song. Having fun is what its all about isn't it?

I can't wait to see my progression next month or so.

10 March 2011

Getting used to barre chords


Colbie Caillat - Bubbly Excercise

I used this tune in Bubbly to practice my guitar plugging.

New Chord:
This is an A Major 7th chord. There is a difference between an AM7 and an A7! Wanna learn where the names come from? Check this blogpost (soon).

Rhythm (Try to count)
I have a video about rhythm and counting. If you want to learn more about that, click here to visit the right blog post. (soon)

Exercise 3 - Connells 74-75 Melody

The third exercise that I taught myself is also online. Mirror Guitar Exercise - The Connells 74-75 - Em - G - D

Go straight to 2:45 for the background track! I show some awesome pictures while the track plays.

Second Exercise: Am - C - Am - Em

This is the second exercise I started working on. Switching Am to C, back to Am and to Em.

Chords used:

Chord progression (!)
|Am| C |Am|Em||


First Exercise: E major and A major

These were to first two chords I practiced. E Major and A Major
Giving the pinky a workout.

How to read the chord diagram?
Text: 0-2-2-1-0-0

Text: X-0-2-2-2-0




Hey, my name is Tom.
I'm going to learn myself how to play the guitar left-handed. I already know how to play the guitar. Two years ago I had kind of a setback, I majorly injured my left wrist. When it became clear to me that I couldn't play the guitar anymore, I was searching for other instruments to play. I picked up the chromatic harmonica. The harmonica alone didn't give me enough motivation to continue practicing. And at times it was to hard to not touch the guitar, so I would grab it and play, and hurt myself (it still happens now and than :b)

Since last month I started to learn myself how to play the guitar left handed. I also started a blog. You can take a look around if you want.
I'm posting progression, vids, sometimes lessons or just funny music compositions. Anything to keep me busy and keep my motivation high!


You've got a blog or website that's related to guitar playing or anything lefthanded?
I'm up for sharing links. send me an email

If you are a left handed guitarist and got a story to share, you can also email me and we'll have your story on the blog.

E lagetomtom[a]gmail.com