The Guide Blog

Submitted on Friday, March 31st, 2017 - 12:21.
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Submitted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 - 11:41.

Hi Friends,

I wanted to touch base and let you know we’ve got some new videos up this month. I had some requests for some Major pentatonic licks and scales as well as some solos and backgrounds by Eric Heywood and Greg Liesz. Here’s what we’ve got:

Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales Video Lesson (Greenhorn Section): This video outlines three positions of the Major Pentatonic Scale and shows that by moving each scale up 3 frets you can get it’s equivalent Minor Pentatonic scale.

 6 Major Pentatonic Licks Video Lesson: (Journeyman Section): This video describes how to play 6 major pentatonic licks in both open and closed position with insight on how to play these licks in any key. MP3 backing track available for download.

 6 Minor Pentatonic Licks Video Lesson (Journeyman Section): This video describes how to play 6 minor pentatonic licks in 3 different positions with insight on how to play these licks in any key. MP3 backing track available for download.

Starlight and Static Solo by Eric Heywood (Greenhorn): Is great for the Greenhorn getting used to playing over minor chords in two different positions. Eric Heywood’s solo in this Jeffrey Foucault song is a good example of what to do over a common singer-songwriter or more folk like progression.

 Leaving Winslow Backgrounds and Pads (Journeyman): A strong representation of how Greg keeps things a little more atmospheric and modal. By not always playing a lick over the chord changes and especially staying away from the 5 chord, Greg shows us how to achieve this affect. A good mixture of padding ideas and simpler Greg Liesz licks.

This January, I released a very Pedal Steel/Telecaster heavy album of mostly originals written by myself and singer Dustin Devine called, “If It’s All A Game” by my band 5 & Dimers, I’m real proud of this album, and hope you’ll check it out on Spotify, ITunes, and CD baby. We’ve gotten some great press and had some wonderful shows that I think will be telling of a great future for this band.

In February, I was part of the release of Patrick Dethlef’s album “Beauty in The Unknown” This is also a very pedal steel heavy album with it being featured on every song on the album. This is a much more ambient, singer/songwriter type album, in the vein of alt. country classic records like Ryan Adams earlier work with The Cardinals. I hope you’ll check it out!

Finally, I will be headed to the Dallas Steel show next week! I’ve never been to any steel shows outside of Denver and I’m super excited to go to one of the biggest of the year. I hope to see you there!

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Submitted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 - 11:59.

Hard at Work With Site Upgrades at Rady Guide HQ:

New Search Bar and Newest Videos Option: I wanted to let you know we’ve been hard at work at Rady Guide HQ. We had some quality feedback on how it was hard to find songs on the site now that there is so much material. We’ve created a Search Bar on the home page that will take you to your desired song, artist or lesson within seriously less than a second. Quite possibly the fastest “Search Bar” in American guitar website history.

We’ve also made it possible to click on all the titles in the “Newest Lessons and Videos” list on the home page, as well as the list of the “Most Popular Videos and Lessons”. Clicking on a title will take you to where the videos are located within the site’s database so you can consume all digital media immediately!

New Comments Section: Finally, we’ve made it so that you can comment on videos in case you want feedback, need to clarify questions, or have other helpful observations. The new comments section also gives you the ability to upload your own youtube video of yourself playing the song so that members or myself can help give you critiques or suggestions. Or you can just use the comments section to give pithy observations on my hairstyle and hilarious jokes or share Eastern European goulash recipes. I mean, I don’t care, just be cool and don’t be cruel or mean, and for the love of god please don’t spam it with Vietnamese energy drink advertisements and cat pictures.

If you would like to comment you need to be a paid member. I hate to do that, but next thing you know if I don’t, I have Russian KGB infiltrating my site and spamming the comments with Vietnamese energy drink advertisements, and hilarious pictures of cats hanging from trees. So, forgive.

New Guitar Tutorials!

Traveller by Chris Stapleton (Finger-style) – This is a classic, from Mr. Stapleton’s huge debut solo album. This features some challenging syncopated rhythms and some nice Bm7 and Em9 chord voicings.

Little Red Rooster by Howlin’ Wolf  (Slide)- This is a great one for approaching the open G tuning. With some simple slide licks across a more or less 12 bar blues. 

Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones (Rock and Roll)- Another Stones’ hit featuring Keith Richards innovate guitar work within the open G tuning. This one features all of the rhythm parts plus the intro which uses a particular right hand finger-style which involves holding your pick between your strumming hand’s index and middle fingers. 

What is and What Should Never Be by Led Zeppelin (Rock and Roll) – Time to get the led out with this timeless masterpiece featuring the A13 and E9 chord plus the heavy hitting chorus and intro featuring some cool two string riffs and barre chords, plus some cool rhythmic stuff.

Say It Ain’t So by Weezer (Rock and Roll)- An acoustic arrangement that gives some insight onto some Jimi Hendrix like riffs featuring barre chords and some double stop melodies.

Jesus, etc. by Wilco (Trailblazer)– An indie rock classic, this song almost has a “hipster-bossa-nova” like feel to it, this is great one to try out at the campfire, neighborhood wine and cheese party, or high school wrestling match?

New Pedal Steel Tutorials!

100 Years From Now Background/Pads by Sneaky Pete (Journeyman)– This one is a great example of Sneaky’s steel work with some crazy licks using 6th intevals over the V chord, plus some super cool psychedelic licks over a long chord progression. I transcribed this off of the Burrito Bros, “Authorized Bootleg” record, in which Sneaky is turned way up and is totally in his element.

You’re Running Wild Solo By Sonny Garrish (Trailblazer)- This was kind of an out of left field request. This version is sung by Nicollette Larsen and Linda Ronstandt. Nicollete Larsen was probably best known for the adult contemporary hit of “Lotta Love” in the 70’s. Anyway she knocks it out of the park, so does Sonny with one of the most astounding V chord licks I’ve ever heard in my life, I’m serious! So awesome that I’ve dubbed his lick, “The Swedish Massage”

Killin Time Verse Pads by Jeff Petersen (Journeyman)- Another nice, not too challenging example of some nice country licks over some 1-4-5 chords in the key of G. These feature some cool chromaticisms  and fun two note harmony licks. 

Killin Time Chorus Pads by Jeff Petersen (Journeyman)- This lesson features a great harmonized lick you can use in any major chord closed position!

I hope you get to chance to check out all the new rad features and tutorials! 

Thanks for your support!

Jeff






Submitted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 - 11:46.
Hey All,

I wanted to let you know we’re ramping up production once again after a little bit of R&R and a nice summer break. We’ve got some nice tutorials from a variety of different singer-songwriter’s. Here’s a breakdown of this month’s tutorials:

Guy Clark’s “L.A Freeway.”- This is a great one for getting a classic finger picking melody under your fingertips, making use of some subtle yet tricky rhythms, and getting a handle on the D7/F# chord. It’s a songwriter’s classic, a great one to have in your repertoire for all you hardcore troubadours. (Finger-Style)

The Replacements/Paul Westerberg’s, “Left of The Dial.”– This is an open G tuned song that I arranged for acoustic guitar. It gives a lot of great insight into the beauty of open tuning and how it can really create more complexity of simple chord voicing’s without having to do too many left hand acrobatics.

Amos Lee’s, “Windows Are Rolled Down.”- We’ve got a more modern jam, utilizing a simple but effective melody that is played continuously over a G chord, this song kind of harkens back to John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” but with a 6/8 strum pattern.

Otherwise, I’m going to keep working on and releasing more tutorials this month. I’ll be working on some more Townes, some Bowie, and some John Prine. Stay tuned!

Thanks for your support!

Jeff Rady
Submitted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 - 11:35.
We’ve added all kinds of great songs to our Guitar Section this week! From Greenhorn to Trailblazer we’ve got something for everybody. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got!

24 Frames by Jason Isbell: Great for working on your transitions from a four finger G to a Cadd9 and Em7, a very common chord progression found in many songs from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s. (Greenhorn)

Can’t Hardly Wait by Paul Westerberg: We’ve used the Justin Townes Earle arrangement for this classic alt. country staple. In this lesson I show you how to use an Easy Bm for us Greenhorns who aren’t quite ready for Barre Chords (Greenhorn)

Somebody To Shove by Soul Asylum: Another 90’s classic, showcasing how much one can get out of power chords while palm muting and accenting certain eighth notes. (Journeyman)

Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman: This is a perfect song for working on our barre chords and getting a grasp on some of those hard to grasp syncopated rhythms. (Tralblazer)

Teacher by Jethro Tull: A great acoustic arrangement featuring multiple guitar parts, power chords, syncopated rhythms, and pentatonic licks! (Rock and Roll)

A note about requests: Thank you all very much for requesting such awesome tunes. Right now I’ve got a list of about 50 requests. Which is a lot of tunes! I can’t promise I will get to them all, but I will try. I’m currently working on transcribing more songs from Townes Van Zandt’s “Live at the Old Quarter” album. I hope to have these ready by late summer.

Thanks for your support!
Submitted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 - 10:24.
Hello Fellow Guitarists!

I wanted to say hello and let you know that I've continued to add more to the Guitar side of Rady Guide. This month I have a great arrangement of Van Zandt's "Nothin" off of his Delta Momma Blues album. This one features a nine bar repeating chord progression based off of a nice and bluesy Am finger-style lick. This song's starkness and otherworldly quality is unmatched by even some of Towne's best work and it's a must have for all die-hard Townes' fans.

Also for you Journeyman (intermediate) Finger-Pickers, I added the classic Simon & Garfunkel tune "Homeward Bound." I kept the classic intro and the most crucial chorus elements as close to the original as I could, but, I did take some liberties with streamlining the finger-style patterns to make this one more palatable for the Jouneyman finger-picker. This is a great one for the campfire or hanging out with friends and family.

Finally, I took a look at Mountain's classic "Mississippi Queen" and created a basic acoustic arrangement of the quintessential rhythm part. This is a great one for practicing your power chords and blues licks at the same time. It's also a shining example of how to turn a blues progression into a kick-ass rock song!

I hope you enjoy our latest tutorials, as always, feel free to drop me a line using the contact form on the website. If you are a free member and would like to have access to all  200+ guitar tutorials for 1 month, use Promo Code: GUITARNEWSLETTER to start your Guitar Package subscription with the first month free (cancel anytime). Check out our FAQ section on how to upgrade with a promo code for more info.

See ya online!
Jeff Rady

Submitted on Friday, February 5th, 2016 - 14:04.

It's funny when people think of the guitar or the pedal steel, they generally admire the dexterity of the left hand and all that it does. Rarely when first beginning do we think about the importance of the right hand. As we continue our studies with either instrument we often find that the right hand is more important in giving us solid technique and tone. If you think about all the greats a lot of their character and expression came from the right hand. Buddy Charleton with his lightning quick ability to palm block real stacatto. Paul Franklin with his very clean and fast style of pick blocking. On the guitar side, you have Wes Montgomery who created a warm/soft tone only using his thumb, or Mark Knopler with his countrified rock and roll that mixed long legato lines with quick staccato blasts using just his bare fingers. The point is that in all these cases these guys had unique right hand technique all different from each other.

So how do you start developing right hand technique? In my own practice, I watched Jeff Newmans' Speed Picking videos and his unyielding commitment to palm blocking and only using two fingers to pick single note passages. This seemed a little kooky to me as I thought that three fingers seemed more efficient than two and pick blocking rather than palm blocking seemed more natural to me. But, I figured Jeff sure had a lot more experience than I did, so I should try my best to follow his path and see if his way was truly better. So that's what I did, I vowed to only use two fingers and palm block for three months. After three months I tested myself on the same passages using two finger palm blocking vs. three finger pick blocking. I found that not only was three finger pick blocking faster or just as fast, but it was more natural and comfortable for me. That's not to say I didn't learn a lot from taking Jeff Newman's road. From Mr. Newman, I learned that a lot of passages only require two fingers and that a third should be used sparingly. I also learned to quantify and practice my technique consistently thereby instilling it in my muscle memory. My point is that sometimes you have to travel the road that you are not inclined to travel in order to find the road which best suits you. Is my technique the end all be all of right hand techniques? No. But, it is for me.

The fruits of this journey can be found in the new series of pick blocking exercises I've posted in the Greenhorn and Journeyman sections. Exercise 1 and 2 are on three finger pick-blocking, 2 and 4 are focused on two-finger speed picking. They all have accompanying backing tracks that you can download to help you practice I will continue to add more this month! Pick on!!!
Submitted on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 - 16:38.
1.    Keep your volume rolled off during the Teacher’s demo first 15-20 minutes of class or so
2.    No noodling during demo time, keep all your attention focused on what’s happening up front, this practice of holding your attention will serve you in other areas of being a musician as well as just being an aware human-being in the world.
3.    Point your amp towards your face so that you can hear yourself, that way you don’t have to compensate with volume if pointed outwards.
4.    Turn your volume up during your solos about 15%; go back to your normal volume when done soloing.
5.    Keep your head up as much as you can so you can be aware of what’s happening in the band.
6.    Don’t be afraid to give cues or communicate with your band-mates, they are probably just as lost as you are.
7.    Listen to whomever is soloing and either don’t play or barely play. If you choose to play, make sure what you’re playing is lifting up the soloist and not getting in the way.
8.    You don’t need to always be playing something; it’s okay to be silent for a little while.
9.    Don’t solo over people; if you don’t know that you’re soloing over people refer to rule 5, 7, and 8.
10. Find your role in the band, maybe you are the one who adds ambience, comes up with different arrangement ideas, adds good rhythm guitar, gives cues, sings well, shreds solos, there is a role for everybody, knowing what your role is in a particular situation is a real asset to a band
11. Party on! Have fun!
Submitted on Monday, December 28th, 2015 - 19:31.

As always I'm trying to keep content fresh and exciting not only for you but for myself. I took it upon myself to take a good hard look at "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down" by the Band to see if I could create a solid guitar arrangement. I watched videos of other people doing it on YouTube in the Key of C and thought that it didn't translate so well. The problem I ran into is that the key of C seemed to be better for the piano and Levon Helm's voice but not so good as far as translating some of the piano licks as well as the cool guitar licks in the chorus to the guitar. So I listened to the song closely and heard that Robbie Robertson seemed to be capoing up on the fifth fret and playing as though he was in the key of G, (therefore remaining in the key of C). This seemed to unlock the arrangement and make both the guitar licks and the piano licks compatible for a solo guitar/voice arrangement. It seemed to make singing and playing this song much easier and more fun. Give it a try, it's in the Trailblazer section.

Next, I had some requests for Townes Van Zandt's epic and ever morose song, "Marie". I scoured some of Townes' versions, but found that the guitar was either too buried by other instruments or his playing was a little off on the live recordings I had found. I looked to Steve Earle's version and found that he had a super blues-y, yet authentically Townes-esque interpretation of the song. That's the one posted up in the Fingerstyle section now! See what you think!

Finally, after having a very strange show opening up for a semi-obscure artist named A.A Bondy this summer, I quickly became a fan, and decided to do a finger-style arrangement of his song, "Mightiest of Guns”. Before the show my friend, Patrick Dethlefs, and I had dinner with A.A., and found that his unusual and somewhat existentialist outlook in his songs was ever present even in the smallest tidbits of conversation we shared over corn dogs and PBR. If you like Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten, and the Delta Blues with a sprinkling of Cormac Macarthy you'll love A.A Bondy!!! Find it in the Fingerstyle section now!

Happy Holidays music lovers! I always look forward to your requests for songs or lessons you are interested in learning. Send me a message via the contact form on the website!

Cheers!

Submitted on Monday, December 28th, 2015 - 18:28.

   He is probably one of the greatest steel players you never heard of. Recently, I did a transcription per request of a Whitey Morgan and the 78's song, "Goin' Down Rocking". Not only did I hear a plethora of scorching licks that harkened back to Mooney and the Bakersfield sound, but I heard a long solo break over two chords that was packed with original licks that flowed seamlessly together.

   This is a great one for combining Major and Minor Petatonic licks, transitioning between scale positions, pick blocking, and creating some kooky chromatic chordal licks, all at a very quick tempo!

   Another recent tutorial to check out if you are looking for some more practice over the aforementioned skills, is the Waylon Jenning's classic, "Lonesome On'ry and Mean". In the tutorial I go over all of Ralph Mooney's licks in the 2nd chorus, breaking them down and explaining how they work over each chord. This is some great foundational work for "Goin' Down Rocking".

   I hope everyone has a great holiday and hopefully gets some good quality time in with your ever loving companion, the Pedal Steel. Stay warm and don't forget to turn off your amp at night! Ha!


Cheers!

Jeff Rady

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