Now Teaching In Berkeley

I am pleased to be offering music lessons in a safe and serene location in Berkeley. I offer instruction in electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar, and ukulele.

Contact to find out more!


ph/txt: 415 286 1315


Aloha, Kimo Continue reading

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Ukulele lessons


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Sitting and playing

Much of your guitar playing will be taking place while you are sitting so let’s talk about the best way to hold the guitar in this position.

I see many beginning guitar players struggle unnecessarily because they tend to stabilize the guitar with the left hand, often to the point of actually carrying the neck. This practice makes the left hand and arm do too much work, and does not allow the freedom of movement needed for playing.

In fact, it is quite possible and preferable to stabilize the guitar without touching it with your hands at all!

To do this, think of these three places as your main points of contact with the guitar:

1 The right thigh
2 The right side of your chest
3 Your right forearm

You should be able to balance the guitar using only these three spots.

Try it, and I think you will find that chords, especially, are much easier. It takes some of the wraslin’ out of it.


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From chord to chord

O.K. , so you’ve got some chords under your belt and now it’s time to put them together. What we are looking for is the ability smoothly transition from one chord to the next.

I have a couple of tricks for you to try out- see if this works for you:

First, see if chord #1 and chord number #2 have any fingers in common. Let’s take e minor  and G major for example….

Yep, your first finger is in the same place in both chords. Score. You can (and should) leave that one there during your transition. Think of it as a pivot point .

Second, practice alternating chord shapes without strumming trying to keep your first finger down. Do it like……10(!) times. Slow.

Third, close your eyes and see if you can visualize the shapes in your mind. I know you can! Try alternating open and closed eyes until you get it.

Fourth, this is where a metronome(or even more fun, a drum beat) comes in handy. The steady beat gives you an appointment to get to, right? Set it up for something like 50 beats per minute(B.P.M).

Count yourself in…..1..2..3..4..

Strum the e minor chord once and just let it ring for two measures of 4/4. That means count: Strum, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

Now, while you are counting, try to visualize the next chord. See if you can “see” the other chord. How is it similar? Right! Same first finger. Use that to your advantage.

Fifth, its time for your appointment. And as a musician it is your duty to keep it. No matter what. Play the next chord at the beginning of the next measure. Well maybe it didn’t sound perfect, but you played at the right time and thats what counts. No time for judgement though, because you’ve got another appointment in…..8 beats! Keep making your appointments, your drummer will love you for it.

Visualize and count. Steady as she goes.

Now that you can switch chords in time, strum at the top of each measure, every 4 beats (Strum,2,3,4,Strum,2,3,4,Strum,2,3,4…. ).

Next, strum every two beats. Try to change chords at the last possible moment before the next appointment.

And so on…. Good luck.

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Guitar Anatomy

I will often refer to different parts of the guitar in these posts, so here is an annotated shot of my old Gibson S.G.(bonus question:what does S.G. stand for?).

It has been around much of the world the world with me. 

Did I miss anything?

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Tablature, explained

Tablature or “tab” for short is another way to write things down for guitar, and other stringed instruments.

It differs from musical notation staff in some key ways:

1) It has six lines instead of five. One line for each string of the guitar. Count ’em.

2)Rather than symbolizing musical pitches(notes), it actually indicates where to press a given fret on a specific string .

so this

sounds like this

I’m sure every one over the age of 40 can name that tune!

For all its flaws(I will probably write about that later), its a pretty handy system for learning stuff on guitar. But watch out, because there are a lot of amateur tabs out there of, let’s just say…………varying quality……….

Here is some blank tab I made.

blank tab


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Totally Extreme Grids

Most of the time, you get boring old guitar grids to learn your chords on. And those are fine, really. But these new ones I just made are at least 33 percent more radical, don’t you agree?

Flying V chord grids


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Chord Grids(doodley-doooo-do-do-do)

For those who don’t know already, chord grids explained.

Chord grids  are just a visual representation of the guitar fretboard positioned vertically.

so this……..

means do this……

and it should look like this:

By the way, this chord is called E Major.

Easy, huh?

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Blank guitar tablature with chord grids

Often it helps, when the writing down tabs wholesale mlb jerseys for certain arpeggios , to be able to see Lesbo the chord shape too. I think the cheap jerseys eye can Those make quicker sense of what is happening, Names you know?

In this cheap nfl jerseys light, I present……

guitar tab-n-grid

Sometimes there are 2 (two!) chords per measure, thus:

guitar tab-n-grid two chords per measure

Not wholesale jerseys perfect Passarelli but gets the Grids job done.




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Names of the strings, part two

Especially with young beginners, the a Sony mnemonic device really helps to memorize the names of HP the notes on each open string:

1 E is for  every or elephants for example

2 B Guitar is cheap jerseys free shipping for___________________

3 G is for___________________

4 D is for____________________

5 A is for_____________________

6 E Unfall is for __________________(something other cheap jerseys than string number wholesale nba jerseys 1)

Eleven Bananas GDancing Around Emily

In tus my experience , people get a kick out of this.


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