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Hey, what’s up? Neal Walter here from the Guitar Tricks channel. New lesson for you. I give you two free lessons to your inbox every week.

Tip of the week is from Anders Mouridsen, instructor here at Guitar Tricks. And Anders says, “Remember you have to learn and forget something three times in order for it to sink in.” So don’t be afraid to forget and don’t be afraid to keep trying something because it will sink in, unless you have a gig the next day. Then you want to crash and learn that stuff right away. Guitar riffs

Our lesson of the week is a request from TV and Décor and it’s on connecting chords with passing tones. So I want to give you guys some insight on how to make that happen and what you use to make that happen. For this lesson, I’m going to be using the E minor scale and I’ll be using the chords E , C , E , A . Did I say C already? I did. Best guitar riffs for beginners. tabs

So the E minor scale, I’ll be using just these notes [plucks], which you can also play here [plucks], or here [plucks]. I’m just using those notes and we’ll show you some passing notes that work really well. This is great for song writing. This is aimed at the beginner to intermediate song writer.

So I’ll be playing a -- let’s say I have a rhythm on the E power chord like this, and we go on over the B chord [strums]. Now the trick with passing notes is really simple as you just pick notes out of the scale. One of the key things is to learn the notes in your scale. This is where learning your scale really comes handy, especially the E and A strings because that’s most where your passing notes come from.

So for example, [guitar noise] these are the notes you have to choose from. So I’m going to go to B, so I could use D , C , to get to B. So I’m going to do that.

And what I’m doing is I’m holding the E chord and changing the base note while holding that chord. So you get this cool, slightly dissonant thing going on. Then we go to the B. Then I’m just going to make up a riff just by using the first three notes of the scale, just like a break in between the rhythm. So we get this .

So going up the scale. If I’m using this as a little riff, the next note is A. So if we go on an A chord, it’s going to sound like it belongs there. So, if we go to an A, and now I’m going to do the same thing going up to the C. 

And a lot of this depends on the rhythm that you’re playing. You could be doing any style of music: country, acoustic, middle, trash. I’m just doing a rock, classic rock kind of feel. I’ve got that rhythm going on. But whatever rhythm you’re using, for example, if I use a different one,it sounds totaly different, but the concept is the same for any style of music. So that’s the cool part.

Here’s another way you can change the way you -- by changing the way you accent one note, it can really affect the way your song is sounding. So, I did this E thing, and then I did, so I could just add a little vibrato, or I can add a little pinch harmonic, or I could make it open power chord.
Another way you can change the way a song flows, that you’re writing, is by spending less time or more time on a chord, doing your chord change. For instance, that thing I was just playing. Originally I was playing it longer, spending more time with my chord. But if I tighten that all up, you get this.

So you see by adding less, spending less time on a chord or more time on a chord, totally changes the way it sounds. Combine that with using different right-hand rhythms, you can just come up with a million, almost infinite possibilities in your song writing or riff creation.

Neal: That’s it for this week. Thanks for tuning on in. Leave me a request in our form at guitartricks.com because I want to know what you want to know. See you in a week