Rock Dojo: Rhythm Guitar vs. Lead Guitar

Rhythm Guitar Vs. Lead Guitar
Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between a lead guitar and a rhythm guitarist? Well, read this short article to find out for yourself!



3 Easy Guitar Strum Patterns for Beginning Guitarists
Strum patterns are preset rhythmic patterns used by guitarists in all musical genres including rock, pop, and blues. While there are hundreds of strum patterns available, mastering a few simple strum patterns on the guitar will help your guitar playing sound polished and professional.


LEGO Guitar Guy5 Great Gift Ideas for Kids Who Love Guitar
What in the world do you get a kid who loves to play the guitar for the holidays? Well, the Rock Dojo has got you covered with 5 gift ideas you’re little rock guitar star will LOVE!


The Face of Awesome on the Guitar

Three Steps for Being Totally Awesome at Playing Guitar or Anything Else
Believe it or not, you can be awesome at anything you do when you follow these three simple steps!



Rock Dojo Character

Practice Before Bed for Maximum Guitar Power
Leverage the power of sleep for learning to play the guitar faster!



5 Easy Tips for Enjoying Your Guitar this Thanksgiving!
Rock this Thanksgiving with five easy tips for sharing your passion for the guitar with the people you love most!



Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lesson

3 Simple Tips for Remarkable Guitar Teaching
In this article, I’ll provide you with three simple tips to help you make the leap from being generic to being remarkable in your guitar teaching business.


Rock Dojo Group Guitar Class

Generic Guitar Teacher vs. Remarkable Guitar Teacher
As an independent guitar instructor, your task is to discover the aspects of your teaching business that make you unique and amplify it. As you begin amplifying your one true note, you will gradually make the transition from being a generic guitar instructor to being a remarkable guitar instructor.


Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lesson

Celebrating an Awesome Quarter of Group Guitar Lessons
The Rock Dojo is celebrating an awesome quarter of after-school group guitar lessons at ACCESS Academy, Beverly Cleary, Laurelhurst, and Irvington Schools.


Girl with Guitar5 Tips to Help Your Child Develop the Guitar Practice Habit
Hearing your child play a musical instrument is every parent’s dream. Getting him/her to practice, however, can be a nightmare if you don’t have a plan. That’s why I put together five scientifically proven tips to help your child develop the guitar practice habit without all the stress and drama.


Rock Dojo After-School Group Guitar Class

A New Hope Arises: The Future of Guitar Lessons
The music education industry is rapidly changing. In the coming years, independent guitar teachers who fail to adapt to these changes will be out of business, but I believe in the value guitar teachers provide to their students and to their communities. That’s why I put together a list of three simple steps to help you increase your impact and grow your guitar teaching studio for years to come.

Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lesson in Action!The 4 Greatest Challenges Facing Guitar Teachers
The music education industry is rapidly changing. Online learning tools like YouTube are reshaping the industry. In the coming years, independent guitar instructors unable to adapt to these changes will be out of business while those guitar teachers savvy enough to adapt to the changing landscape will win big!

The Guitar Can Save The WorldThe Guitar Can Save the World: A New Type of Hero is Born
The guitar can save the world. I know this because the guitar saved me, and it can save you or members of your community too. Read this article to find out how.


Boy with Guitar and White Guitar Strap5 Awesome Values Kids Acquire Learning to Play Guitar
Imagination. Leadership. Community. Grit. & SelfExpressionn. Those are just some of the awesome values kids acquire as they learn to play the guitar.



Rock Dojo Group Guitar LessonThe Guitar Can Save the World! Here’s How.
These days, the headlines read like a recipe for the apocalypse. As a result, people are losing confidence in our ability to unite and work together to solve our biggest challenges. And yet, I would like to offer a radical suggestion: The guitar has the power to save the world.


Rock Dojo Group Guitar LessonGrow Your Teaching Studio with Group Guitar Lessons
If you’re a guitar instructor interested in leveraging your time, reaching more students,  and maximizing your impact, then this article is perfect for you!



Rock Dojo Belt SystemThe Guitar is a Vehicle for Success
I believe the guitar is a vehicle which can teach anyone learning to play it the skills he/she need to be successful in music or in life.



Rock Hard on the Guitar in 5-Minutes or Less
In this easy guitar lesson for beginners, you’ll learn three open string power chords used by rock guitar legends like ACDC, Metallica, and Led Zeppelin.



Rock Dojo Student Shows Off Her Yellow Guitar StrapWrite a Great Guitar Riff in Two Minutes or Less!
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been playing the guitar for 10 days or 10 years, you can write a great guitar riff if you follow this simple guide to writing great guitar riffs!



One Easy Trick for Instant Metal Guitar!
If you want to capture the passion and the fury of metal guitar, then you must learn to play the galloping rhythm! 



80/20 Guitar Diagram80/20 Guitar Part Two: Minimal Practice for Maximum Result
In this guitar lesson for beginners, we’ll review the 80/20 Rule and combine the ultimate 80/20 guitar shape—moveable power chords—with one must know rhythm for rock guitar, so you can play any chord progression or any song ever written!


Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lessons

After-School Group Guitar Lessons at Irvington Elementary School
The Rock Dojo after-school group guitar lessons for kids return to Irvington School on October 5, 2017!



Planet Waves Clip-On Headstock TunerHow to Tune Your Guitar
Before you can rock your guitar, you need to learn how to tune it first!



Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lessons Portland, ORThree Fantastic Reasons to Sign Up Your Child for Group Guitar Lessons!
With so many after-school activities to choose from, it’s no wonder parents feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices!  That’s why I put together a list of three reasons to sign your child up for after-school group guitar.


Rock Dojo Group Guitar Lessons at Rose City ParksRock Dojo After-School Group Guitar Lessons at ACCESS Academy
The Rock Dojo is now celebrating three-years of group guitar lessons at Rose City Parks for ACCESS Academy and Beverly Cleary students.



Rock Dojo After-School Group Guitar ClassThe Rock Dojo is now celebrating its third year of offering group guitar lessons at Beverly Cleary School! 
During our after-school group guitar lessons at Beverly Cleary School, students learn the 5-Must Know Musical Concepts for Rock Guitar such as moveable power chords and the minor pentatonic scale.


The Power of Leverage

Harness the Power of Leverage to Grow Your Teaching Business
Leverage is the ability to control a lot with little effort. Just like a crowbar or a dolly, leverage allowed me to harness the power of systems and knowledge to move mountains. With the power of leverage, I was able to earn more money, reach more students, and enjoy more free time in my personal life.

Rock Back-to-School With Four Simple Chords!
From Bach and Beethoven to Rihanna and Taylor Swift, every song you’ve ever heard can be reduced to a set of repeating chord changes known as chord progressions. Although chords can be combined in countless combinations, the I V vi IV chord progression is one of the most popular chord progressions in music today.

Project Based Learning for GuitarApply These Three Secrets from Project Management to Get Crazy Sick at the Guitar
A project—by definition—has a beginning, a middle, and an end with desired results. For example, maybe you want to improve your ability to improvise over major chords. Great! That’s your desired goal, so how do you get started?


Three Power Tips for Super Music TeachersThree Power Tips for Super Music Teachers
Everyday heroes need strategies to maintain their super powers during the school year, so I put together three tips to help you stay strong from the first day of class to the final performance.


Solar Eclipse

Celebrate the Solar Eclipse with Two Terrifying Intervals on Guitar
Throughout human history, a solar eclipse was a harbinger of terror. Early civilizations believed the gods were angry, and the world would soon end after a solar eclipse. In this lesson, I’ll show you two terrifying intervals to help you celebrate a spooky solar eclipse!


Rock Dojo NinjaRock Soloing 101: Chuck Berry Style Guitar Lick
In this lesson, you’ll learn one easy guitar lick in the style of legendary rock guitarist Chuck Berry.  At the end of this series of rock soloing lessons for kids, I’ll show you how to combine these licks to create compelling guitar solos

Kids Group Guitar Class

Interstellar Overdrive: Easy Study for Group Guitar Classes & Private Lessons
If you’re  a guitar instructor interested in leveraging your time and reaching more students teaching group guitar classes for kids, this lesson is perfect for you!



Captain Coral Riff


Rock’s Secret Super Power: The A Minor Pentatonic Scale
Just like every superhero needs a super power to beat up the bad guys, every guitar player needs a musical scale to belt out rockin’ riffs! The minor pentatonic scale is the secret super power of rock ‘n’ roll!

Tony Goes Creative Genius

3 Weird Tricks for Unleashing Your Creative Genius
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a magician—or a genius—to be inventive because the spark of creative genius is inside of you right now. These three weird tricks will help you unleash your creativity to make more original music on the guitar and break free of any creative blocks.


Anytune Five Reasons Why Anytune is an Absolute Must Have for Serious Guitarists
Anytune makes practicing, performing, and teaching the guitar dead easy. Featuring Slow-it-Down, Step-it-Up, Loop-it, Playlists, Re-Frame, Anytune is a must have for any serious guitar instructor.


The 3 Elements of Musicianship

Three Overlooked Music Skills for Developing Monster Musicianship
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Playing the guitar is the greatest activity in the world! Now that the obvious is stated, we can focus on three often overlooked skills that will help you make the quantum leap from playing guitar in your bedroom to working as a musician.


3 Flow Principles for Teaching Effortless Group Guitar ClassesThree Flow Principles for Effortless Group Guitar Classes
Imagine for a moment you’re teaching a room full of guitar students paying rapt attention to your every word. The students are buzzing with curiosity and enthusiasm, and joy is clearly written in the smiles on their face. You lose yourself in the moment, and time melts away. That state of consciousness is known as flow, and it can be replicated again and again if you master these three principles for injecting flow into your group guitar classes.

Zombie Boy Wednesday Guitar Joke
What do you tell a guitarist who’s freaking out?



Rock Dojo Ninja

Three Kickass Values Music Teachers Can Borrow from Karate
Like so many music teachers, I struggled with last minute cancellations, no-shows, and a reliable system for rewarding my students’ efforts on the guitar. While creating the Rock Dojo, I discovered music education shares a value system with the martial arts. The following values are essential for fun and effective group classes of 10 to 15 students.

15-Year Old Luke with Guitar

Guitar for Kids: Learn a Riff so Awesome, It’s Terrifying!
In this lesson,15-year old Luke is going to teach you the infamous guitar riff from Halloween Thing. So what’s a riff, anyways? Riffs are the short musical phrases that keep you coming back again and again to your favorite songs. From Suzie Q to Seven Nation Army, a great riff can grab you by the tail and pull you all in!


Rock Dojo's First Black Belt Student

Meet The Rock Dojo’s First Black Belt Student
Two years ago, we launched the Rock Dojo dreaming of sharing our passion for the guitar with kids. We designed the most innovative guitar learning system on the planet to reward our students with colored stripes and straps representing their musical achievements and encouraging them to work harder on the guitar. Today, we are proud to introduce our first black belt student.


80/20 Guitar Diagram80/20 Guitar Part One: Minimal Effort for Maximum Results
If you’re unfamiliar with the 80/20 Rule, get ready because it’s going to change your guitar playing game for life! Business and marketing experts have been applying the 80/20 Rule for years with astonishing results. Now, it’s time to apply it to the guitar to achieve more results with less effort. In part one of this three-part series, you’ll unlock the 80/20 potential of moveable power chords to improve your guitar playing with minimal effort for maximum results.

Launch Your Own Group Guitar Classes
Two-and-a-half years ago, I was teaching private lessons around the clock, spending all of my free time learning to play songs I didn’t enjoy, and undercharging for my services. In short, I was miserable, and I desperately needed to change both my teaching and business model. That’s when I made the switch to group guitar classes, and I have never looked back!

Girl Smiling with Guitar

Harness the Power of Music to Add Harmony to Your Family Life
There is something magical about playing the guitar with other people. Maybe it’s the shared goal of mastering a tricky passage or the joy of performing a challenging song from beginning to end as a cohesive unit, but research has confirmed what musicians have known for years: making music brings people together. With that being said, here are three tips to help you harness the power of music and foster harmony in your family life.


Three Must Have Apps or Software for Guitar Teachers
It’s never been a better time to teach guitar. With a wide a variety of apps and music software available today, guitar lessons can be more engaging than ever. Here are three apps and/or software I use for every private lesson and group class I teach.


Guitar for Kids: Five Tips to Help Your Child Succeed at Playing Guitar
Learning to play the guitar is a daunting task for a 6-year old. At first, frets buzz, fingers hurt, and the fretboard can be more confusing than a jigsaw puzzle with a few missing pieces. Indeed, each string has a note name and a number, each fret has a note name and a number, and the note names correspond to the alphabet from A to G but no sharps or flats between B & C and E & F.

Guitar for Beginners: Chords & Strumming
Chords are the basic building blocks of all songs, so once you’ve learned a handful of chords and a few simple strumming patterns, you can easily play thousands of songs! 
In this lesson, you’ll learn the I IV V (A D & E) chords in the key of A major.


Music Theory for Beginners: The Musical Alphabet
Music theory is the study of harmony, melody, and rhythm and how they interact with one another to make the music you love. A thorough understanding of music theory can help you write better riffs, improvise with greater confidence, and deepen your appreciation for the music you listen to every day.

Easy Buying Guide For Your Child’s First Guitar!

Nylon string acoustic guitars are an excellent choice for starters. They’re durable, cheap, and easy to play. However, if you signed your child up for rock guitar lessons, chances are they want to rock. In my experience, most of my students quickly make the jump from an acoustic guitar to an electric guitar in a matter of months. After all, electric guitars howl, growl, and snarl and kids love them for it!

  Classroom Management: Expected vs. Unexpected Behaviors
What do you think separates a great group guitar teacher from an average one? Technical ability on the guitar? No. A lifetime of music theory? Nope. Two-handed tapping? Wrong. The number one skill needed to be a rock star guitar instructor for kids is the ability to manage a class full of kids with guitars, amps, and a propensity towards obscene levels of distortion is classroom management.

Three Great Groove Guitarists: Playing in the Pocket

The pocket is the rhythmic glue that binds a band or a song together. Playing in the pocket happens when a musician finds his/her space in the music while simultaneously leaving space for the other bandmates to occupy.


Finger Exercises for Beginning Guitarists
Have you ever seen a great guitarist like Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, or Steve Vai play the guitar with one finger? Absolutely not, but that’s precisely how many young guitarists spend their first couple of years learning to play the guitar. I call it the “one-finger of doom syndrome” because it’s guaranteed to self-destruct their best efforts to improve on the guitar.


3 Practice Tips for a Guitarless and Recovering Guitar Hero
While most die-hard guitar players have no problem establishing efficient and daily practice routine, they often struggle with “not practicing”.



Five Songs Using Power Chords
Power chords are a key element of many styles of rock music. Power chords are built from the root and fifth of any major scale, and its simple shape is easy to rock. As one 11-year-old Rock Dojo student stated, “Without power chords, rock ‘n’ roll would be rock and flop.”


 Basic Rhythms for Kids
If you want to rock on the guitar, you should spend some time each practice session building your rhythmic vocabulary. In this lesson, you’ll combine four basic rhythms with an easy power chord progression designed to help you master basic rhythms.


Rhythm Games for Guitar Teachers
It’s no secret that kids love games! Kids are drawn to the reward systems games provide because positive reinforcement makes them feel good. Games also give kids a chance to team up and collaborate to solve difficult puzzles. Finally, games give kids a chance to test their skills against their classmates.


Rock This Spring with The Major Pentatonic Scale
Maybe it’s the sunshine or the birdsong, but there’s something ineffable about springtime compelling me to reach for the major pentatonic scale whenever it’s time to rock my guitar. While it’s cousin—the minor pentatonic scale—sounds dark and angsty, the sound of the major pentatonic scale is the stuff of springtime: sweet, bright, and open

Guitars Tuned to Success: The Documentary
This spring, the Rock Dojo offers a 12-week rock guitar workshop for children between 8 and 14 years old at the Baltazar Ortiz Center Bienestar de la Familia in the Cully neighborhood. This initiative is funded by the Regional Arts and Cultural Council in partnership with Multnomah County. This workshop is designed to enhance children’s creativity, develop their confidence, and teach children the transferable skills they need to be successful in music or in the rest of their lives.


“Pop Music tells you everything’s OK, while rock music tells you that it is not OK, but you change it.” —Bono As an afterschool music provider, I have…NAAWEB.ORG


Writing Guitar Riffs, Part 1: Three Steps to Writing a Great Riff
Riffs are the wholly recognizable, completely undeniable hooks that keep you coming back to your favorite songs again and again. Indeed, a memorable guitar riff can elevate a good song to iconic status.


How to Get Better at Guitar Fast

Supercharge Your Guitar Chops with Three Simple, Effective, and Scientifically Proven Learning Techniques



DSC_0008The Place of Music in 21st Century Education

As a music instructor, continuing education is essential for long-term professional growth, which is why I enrolled in The Place of Music in the 21st Century Education available on Coursera.  As such, I’ll be posting personal responses to the course’s assignments in this section of the blog.


beatbuddyThe BeatBuddy: The First Guitar Pedal Drum Machine

If you’re like me, you love jamming along with a steady drum beat.  After all, something magical happens when a driving guitar riff locks in with a heavy back beat.  In that instance, the two instruments meld into one, and the groove is born.

logotheta_600x500Theta Music Trainer – Earn Your Musical Black Belt Faster and Easier Than Ever Before

While the ear training market is chalk full of great websites and apps designed for music majors and professional musicians alike, Theta Music Trainer turns the routine into the extraordinary providing ear training games that are fast to learn, fun to play, and exceptional at developing your ear.


38759The Danelectro Honeytone N-10: Another Great Amp for Kids

I’m a big fan of Danelectro.  And with good reason. Their products are playable, durable, and affordable too.  Furthermore, Danelectro’s amps and guitars are absolutely dripping with those sought after classic tones and vintage looks.


DV016_Jpg_Large_501250_VThe Danelectro Hodad DH1 Mini Amp: The Perfect Starter Amp for Kids
This amp is perfect for jamming on the run. And better yet, it’s about the size of a large sandwich, so the Hodad will fit comfortably into your backpack with tons of leftover space for your books.


Five Tips to Help You Buy the Perfect Kid’s Guitar

Choosing your first guitar can be confusing, so I put together five tips to help you get the perfect fit.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADivide Your Practice Time for Better Results: Part 1 Ear Training and Scales
Although you can spend the rest of your life mastering a vast array of guitar techniques, there’s really only a handful of skills every successful guitarist needs to master. And those skills are ear training, scales, chords, sight-reading, and repertoire.


claptonGuitar Legend Eric Clapton Demonstrates Some of his Signature Soloing Techniques
In the 1960s, Cream took the rock world by storm.  With it’s driving blend of rock, blues, jazz, and psychedelics, Cream burst onto the scene with classic hits such as “Crossroads,” “Spoonful,” and “Sunshine of Your Love.”


honeycomb_3d_teleFender’s New 3-D Printed Guitar
3-D printing seems like something straight out of science fiction. But its real, its here, and Fender–one of the most iconic and well-respected institutions in the music business–is currently developing two prototypes.


Peter Gunn PosterThe “Peter Gunn” Blues
In this lesson, we’re going to learn a simple 12-bar blues based on the theme song of Peter Gunn, a hit detective show from the 1950s.



Electric_GuitarFive Practice Tips for Mastering the Guitar

No doubt about it, playing rock guitar is the epitome of cool.  There’s something about the screech and squeal of a Fender “Stratocaster” through an old tube amp or the low, throaty growl of a Gibson “Les Paul” through a Marshall stack that captures the imagination and thrills the soul. But there are times when learning to play the guitar can be frustrating too.  That’s why I put together five practice tips to help you master the guitar.

The Allman Brothers Band - Dickey BettsFive Guitarists Every Kid Should Listen To #3 Dickey Betts
If you’re serious about mastering the guitar, then you should spend some of your practice time listening to the greats.  But where should you start? Well, I compiled a list of five guitarists every kid should check out.  Why? Because these guys are the kings of the six-strings!

DSC_1985Children and the Benefits of Music Education
Whether you are passionate about learning Beethoven or Chuck Berry, music lessons are a powerful vehicle for self-expression, inspiration, and personal development.  Even if you are six or eighty-six years old, music lessons sharpen the mind, calm the spirit, and enhance creativity.

cd4be-albertlee-originalFive Guitarists Every Kid Should Listen To #4  Albert Lee
If you’re serious about mastering the guitar, then you should spend some of your practice time listening to the greats.  But where should you start? Well, I compiled a list of five guitarists every kid should check out.  Why? Because these guys are the kings of the six-strings!


62cca-stevecropperFive Guitarists Every Kid Should Listen To #5 Steve Cropper
If you’re serious about mastering the guitar, then you should spend some of your practice time listening to the greats.  But where should you start? Well, I compiled a list of five guitarists every kid should check out.  Why? Because these guys are the kings of the six-strings!