Intermediate Guitar Lessons: An Essential Guide

Looking for intermediate guitar lessons? Then look no further! We’re going to show you how to take your guitar playing to the next level.

intermediate-guitar-lessons

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • The secret to becoming a advanced guitarist.
  • 24 guitar chords every intermediate guitarist must know.
  • 12 essential scale shapes which will make you sound amazing.
  • 3 awesome intermediate guitar tabs which will make you sound like a rockstar!

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Intermediate Guitar Lessons | Learn Barre Chords

If you’re an intermediate guitarist, you must know how to play barre chords.

Learning barre chords will take your guitar playing to the next level.

If you want some tips and tricks on how to play barre chords, check out this video:

To become an advanced guitarist you must know how to play barre chords all over the fret board.

The two main barre chord shapes are the E shape and A shape.

The E Shape Barre Chord

The most common barre chord shape is the E shape.

The reason we call it the E shape, is because the without the barre, the shape of the chord is EXACTLY the same as a standard E chord.

Here’s the standard E chord shape:

E Chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

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The first barre chord most intermediate guitarists learn, is the F major chord.

Here’s the chord box:

intermediate guitar lessons

Can you see how the two shapes are identical?

If you want to learn more about the F chord, go here: F Guitar Chord 3 Easy Alternatives

For every major chord, there’s a minor equivalent. Here’s the chord box for the F minor chord.

 

intermediate guitar lessons

Too hard? Go here: Fm Chord Easy Shapes For Beginner Guitarists

If you take away the barre, this chord shape is identical to a E minor chord.

intermediate guitar lessons

Download a free beginner chord guide and learn easy versions of every chord

 Say goodbye to frustration and twisted fingers. Say hello to MAKING MUSIC.

  Learn beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is one of our most popular guides and will improve your chord ability quickly. Click here to download the guide.

 

Changing The Key of The Chord

The great thing about barre chords is that you can move them around the fret board.

All you have to do is change the root note.

The root note is the first note in a chord.

For every E chord shape, major or minor. The root note will ALWAYS be on the low E string.

To move these shapes around the fret board, we must learn what the notes are on the low E string.

Here they are:

To change the key of your barre chord, all you have to do is change what fret your first finger barres over.

For example, if you wanted to played a A major chord. All you have to do is:

  • Move your E chord shape up to the 5th fret on the low E string.

This method also works for the minor chord.

All you have to do is your change your chord shape. So instead of playing a E major chord shape, now you have to play a E minor chord shape.

E.g, if you wanted to play a Ab minor chord.

  • All you have to do is move your minor barre chord shape to the 4th fret of the low E string.

The root note on the low E string, determines the key of your chord.

By learning where root notes are, you can get 24 different chords out of 2 chord shapes. How awesome is that!

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The A Shape Barre Chord

We can also apply the same technique on the A string.

Here are the two major and minor barre chord shapes with the root on the A string instead:

For this example we’re going to use the key of Bb.

Bb Major Barre Chord

bb_major_chord_

Notice how without the barre, this chord shape is exactly the same as the A chord.

intermediate guitar lessons

Bb Minor Barre Chord

bb_minor_chord_

The minor barre chord shape on the A string, is exactly the same as a A minor chord.

intermediate guitar lessons

Moveable Shapes

To change the key of a chord, we must change the root note.

For each of our A chord shapes, the root note is on the A string.

To do this, we must know the root notes on the A string, here they are:

For example, to play a C major chord with the root on the A string.

  • Move your barre chord shape to the 3rd fret.

To play a Eb minor chord with the root on the A string.

  • Move your A minor chord shape to the 6th fret of the A string.

The root note on the A string, determines the key of the chord.

Intermediate Guitar Lessons | Rhythmic Techniques That Will Enhance Your Musicality

In this intermediate guitar lessons, we’re going to work on enhancing your strumming & musicality.

The first technique we’re going show you is how to use ‘string slapping’ to add a percussive sound to your guitar chords.

In this video Mike explains this cool technique:

To get a close up of this classic technique, watch this video:

Intermediate Guitar Lessons | Palm Muting

A great way to add musicality to your rhythm playing is to use palm muting technique.

This techniques adds texture and dynamics to your playing.

This technique is used in rock and metal music, it sounds huge!

To do this technique:

  • Pick a chord, you can use any chord.
  • Pick the chord whilst simultaneously placing the side of your picking hand by the bridge of your guitar.
  • Pick your chord whilst muting it with your palm.

Your rhythm playing should sound tight and chunky!

To learn more about palm muting, go here: Palm Muting: An Essential Guide

Intermediate Guitar Lessons | Learn Lead Guitar Scales

If you want to become an amazing lead guitarist, you should learn how to play lead guitar scales.

The two most common lead guitar scales are:

  • The Minor Pentatonic Scale.
  • The Major Pentatonic Scale.

Here are the most common patterns for each of those scales:

The Minor Pentatonic Scale

intermediate guitar lessons

This scale is in the key of A minor.

The Major Pentatonic Scale

intermediate guitar lessons This scale is in the key of C major.

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again. Click here to download your copy.

Moveable Scale Shapes

The great thing about both of these scale patterns is that they can be moved up and down the fret board.

All we have to do is our change the root note on the low E string.

If you want to play a minor pentatonic scale in the key of B.

  • Start this scale on the 7th fret of the low E string.

This technique works for the major pentatonic scale too.

For example, if you want to play a major pentatonic scale in the key of F#.

  • Start your scale on the 2nd fret of the low E string.

The five most common major keys are:

  • C, A, G, E and D.

The five most common minor keys are:

  • A, F#, E, C# and B.

Here are the intermediate guitar lessons tabs for ALL of those keys.

A Major Pentatonic Scale

a-major-pentatonic

G Major Pentatonic Scale

intermediate guitar lessons

E Major Pentatonic Scale

e-major-pentatonic

D Major Pentatonic Scale

d-major-pentatonic

F# Minor Pentatonic Scale

E Minor Pentatonic Scale

C# Minor Pentatonic Scale

intermediate guitar lessons

B Minor Pentatonic Scale

intermediate guitar lessons

If you fancy an added challenge, try learning these diagonal patterns.

A Minor Pentatonic Scale | Diagonal Pattern #2

intermediate guitar lessons

A Minor Pentatonic Scale | Diagonal Pattern #2

intermediate guitar lessons

To learn more scales go here:

How do I use these scales?

If you want to learn how to use guitar scales, you must know how to work out musical keys.

Here’s a quick & easy trick which will help you work out the musical key of a song:

If you’re playing in a major key, you can use a major scale. If you’re playing in a minor key, you can use a minor scale.

So, if something was in the key of C major.

  • You could play a C major pentatonic.

If you were playing in the key of A minor.

  • You could use a A minor pentatonic scale.

For more information on how to play lead guitar, go here: How To Play Lead Guitar

How do I work out a musical key?

Here’s a cool trick to use if you want to work out a musical key.

Look at the first and last chord of a chord progression.

Most of the time, the key of a song is determined by the first and last chord of a song.

Let’s try this method out, here’s a classic chord progression.

To learn more about musical keys, go here: Guitar Keys: An Essential Guide

E Major | G# Minor | C# Minor | E Major

What key is this chord progression?

  • The first chord is E major.
  • The last chord is E major.
  • Therefore, this progression is in E major.

To improvise over this chord progression you could use:

  • A E Major Pentatonic Scale.

Let’s try another chord progression. What key is this in?

A Minor | D Minor | E Minor | A Minor

  • The first chord is A minor.
  • The last chord is A minor.
  • Therefore it’s in A minor.

What scale could I use over this progression?

The A minor pentatonic scale would work perfectly over this chord progression.

Intermediate Guitar Lessons | 3 Awesome Guitar Tabs

One of the best things about being an intermediate guitarist is learning more advanced guitar riffs.

In this intermediate guitar lessons, we’re going to show you 3 of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time.

Intermediate Guitar Riff #1 ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns ‘n’ Roses

Every intermediate guitarist should know this epic guitar riff.

Here are 3 reasons why it’s perfect for intermediate guitarists:

  • It sounds fantastic and is great fun to play.
  • It’s a challenge!
  • Learning this riff is a great way of enhancing your picking technique.

Let’s listen to this classic riff in context:

Here’s the tab:

sweet-child-o-mine-tab

Intermediate Guitar Riff #2 ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix

This riff is one of the most iconic rock riffs of all time!

If you want to become an epic intermediate guitarist, you should learn this riff.

Here’s why:

  • It’s one of the most popular guitar riffs of the 60s!
  • If you want to sound like a rockstar you must learn this riff.
  • This riff is perfect for perfecting your picking technique.

Let’s listen to it:

Here’s the tab:

purple-haze

Intermediate Guitar Riff #3 ‘Under The Bridge’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Even though this riff isn’t as rocky as the previous two.

It’s certainly up there as one of the most iconic riffs of all time!

Here are 3 reasons why you should learn this epic riff:

  • This riff is perfect if you want to practice barring technique.
  • It’s a challenge to pick!
  • It’s SO iconic, everyone will be impressed if you can nail this riff.

Here’s the song:

Here’s the tab:

under-the-bridge

To learn more guitar riffs, go here: Guitar Tabs For Beginners: 20 Easy Songs That Sound Great

Intermediate Guitar Lessons | Learn Guitar Theory

It is impossible to become a advanced guitarist without learning guitar theory.

Many guitarists shy away from guitar theory, however you must understand guitar theory if you want to understand how music works.

In this intermediate guitar lessons, we’re going to take you through the basics of guitar theory.

The first step to understanding guitar theory is to understand how chords and scales work together.

Guitar Theory | Understanding Guitar Scales and Chords

The two most common guitar scales are:

  • The Major Scale.
  • The Minor Scale.

All music is built off of these scales.

Here’s a tab and chord box of these two scales:

The Major Scale

intermediate guitar lessons

intermediate guitar lessons

For the purpose of this, we’re going to keep the major scale in the key of C.

Major Chords

Scales and chords are directly related.

For every major scale, there’s a major chord.

Major chords are built off of the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of the scale.

Each of those notes make a C major chord.

Try this:

  • Play your scale.
  • Find the 1st note of the scale.
  • Find the 3rd note of the scale.
  • Find the 5th note of the scale.

Once you’ve done this, play each of these notes.

Then, play a C major chord. Can you hear how they sound similar? This is because the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the C major scale, make up a C major chord.

To learn more about the key of C, go here: Understanding The Chords In The Key of C

The Minor Scale

For this scale, we’re going to use the key of A minor.

Here’s the scale and chord box:

intermediate guitar lessons

To play this scale in the key of A, start it on the 5th fret.

Here’s a tab:

intermediate guitar lessons

Minor Chords

Just like our major scale, we can use a minor scale to build a minor chord.

To do this we use the exact same technique.

We’re going to pick the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the minor scale to build a minor chord.

In the key of A minor these notes are A, C and E.

a-minor-notes

Each of these notes make up a A minor chord.

To understand this further:

  • Play your A minor scale.
  • Find the 1st note of the minor scale.
  • Find the 3rd note of the minor scale.
  • Find the 5th note of the minor scale.

Once you’ve done this, now play a A minor chord.

Then play the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the A minor scale.

Can you hear how they sound similar?

This is because the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the A minor scale, are what make up a A minor chord.

To learn more about theory go here: Guitar Theory – A 5 Step Guide

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 30,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

NGAEM

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