I didn’t learn the bulk of my guitar knowledge from YouTube, but every now and again I come across a really insightful lesson or two which I think are worth sharing. For me there are two kinds of content on YouTube; the first is the ‘digitalizing’ of things that people have always been able to do such as learning songs, scales and whatnot; the second is ‘unseen’ content, teaching and insight into how a player thinks which was hard to come across back in the day. So after trawling though the crap, click-bait, and begging-for-subscribers videos, here are four that you might actually get something from.
Oz Noy Clinic – Rhythm Focus in Solos
If you haven’t heard of Oz Noy, then you should definitely check out his music. I like this lesson, and most of his other lessons, because he gets right down to the fundamentals that a lot of players are lacking and always provides concise and clear explanations. In this one he looks at how to inject rhythm into solos, which sounds obvious, but you’ll find that for a lot of guitarists, this element of their playing is very underdeveloped. You may think you’ve milked the A Minor Pentatonic scale to death but take a look at how Oz makes it groove and how you can add this dimension to your soloing through a couple of really good exercises.
Dweezil Zappa – Economy Picking Pentatonics
There’s some great insight to be had in this lesson by Dweezil Zappa, not only from the perspective of pentatonic scales, but how he came up with a work-around because he wasn’t getting the speed he wanted from alternate picking. If you’re not familiar with economy picking, it basically means you always change strings on a downstroke when your pick is moving to the higher strings, and an upstroke when your pick is moving to the lower strings. This is a great lesson in thinking outside the box to make the guitar adapt to you, rather than slogging it out with a technique (in this case) that’s not really giving you the results you want. You could, and should, apply this kind of thinking to anything you’re stuck with as it can really help you unlock not only the fretboard, but your own style and voice on the instrument.
Here’s the accompanying PDF for the patterns that Dweezil uses.
Eric Johnson – Chord Technique
If you’ve ever wondered how Eric Johnson comes up with all those beautiful chords at the drop of a hat, this 2-minute insight from the man himself will bestow the answers upon you. This is one of those things that looks way more complicated than it actually is, as long as you can locate basic triads and other intervals and is well-worth experimenting with.
Victor Wooten: Bass Lesson
When I was learning guitar, I used to hang around with a lot of bass players because let’s face it, hanging around with a bunch of guitarists is just not musically healthy. The concept Victor describes in this video can be applied to improvisation on guitar and is mind-blowing to say the least. I was so blown away by this concept that it inspired one of our best-selling books: Soloing Without Scales.
These are four of the most insightful lessons I’ve come across on YouTube, though I’m sure there are many others.