Blog

Lately, I’ve been getting well into discovering Podcasts on my iPhone. I love the non-restricted time format and no ads! The absolutely best one I’ve found comes from Guitar Player Magazine’s Jude Gold and is called ‘No Guitar Is Safe’. Jude is a great player...

No Guitar Is Safe

Lately, I’ve been getting well into discovering Podcasts on my iPhone. I love the non-restricted time format and no ads! The absolutely best one I’ve found comes from Guitar Player Magazine’s Jude Gold and is called ‘No Guitar Is Safe’. Jude is a great player...

After launching the new version of Spy Tunes just a couple of days ago, I sent an email to all my current subscribers as I immediately had to switch them over to this new login, members system. This was off course my first, top...

New Spy Tunes – First Testimonial

After launching the new version of Spy Tunes just a couple of days ago, I sent an email to all my current subscribers as I immediately had to switch them over to this new login, members system. This was off course my first, top...

In ‘Someday I’ll Fly’ John Mayer himself talks about his early years, how he signed his first record deal and everything that happened following his instant success. In his own words, ‘Someday I’ll Fly’ is a great insight into John Mayer’s life, writing style...

Someday I’ll Fly

In ‘Someday I’ll Fly’ John Mayer himself talks about his early years, how he signed his first record deal and everything that happened following his instant success. In his own words, ‘Someday I’ll Fly’ is a great insight into John Mayer’s life, writing style...

I’ve seen many documentaries and films based on artists life. ‘Ray’, the story of Ray Charles or ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ about Tina Turner first coming to mind. I’ve also read a lot of biographies, Eric Clapton, Slash being two that...

The Life Of Riley

I’ve seen many documentaries and films based on artists life. ‘Ray’, the story of Ray Charles or ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ about Tina Turner first coming to mind. I’ve also read a lot of biographies, Eric Clapton, Slash being two that...

My guitar playing journey went like this: Classical Acoustic Guitar – Electric Guitar – Acoustic Steel String – Electric Guitar – Bass – Electric Guitar. During that journey, I bought a lot of equipment. I also sold pretty much all of it. When I...

Why I sold the Axe-Fx

My guitar playing journey went like this: Classical Acoustic Guitar – Electric Guitar – Acoustic Steel String – Electric Guitar – Bass – Electric Guitar. During that journey, I bought a lot of equipment. I also sold pretty much all of it. When I...

According to The Independent, Paco De Lucia died of a heart attack when on a beach in Cancun, playing with his children. By many seen as the ‘best’ guitar player the world has ever seen, Paco did in many ways bring flamenco to the...

Paco de Lucia dies of heart attack

According to The Independent, Paco De Lucia died of a heart attack when on a beach in Cancun, playing with his children. By many seen as the ‘best’ guitar player the world has ever seen, Paco did in many ways bring flamenco to the...

Well, it’s not actually a new service, but Pedro of Guitar Repairs Brighton have finally gotten himself a website! I’ve used Pedro’s services for many years now and I’m happy to see that he’s gotten himself online with www.guitarrepairsbrighton.com. If you are in the area...

Guitar Repairs Brighton

Well, it’s not actually a new service, but Pedro of Guitar Repairs Brighton have finally gotten himself a website! I’ve used Pedro’s services for many years now and I’m happy to see that he’s gotten himself online with www.guitarrepairsbrighton.com. If you are in the area...

Regular Spy Tunes student Jeff from the Caribbean Island Grenada just sent me this 1 hour 10 min interview with Carol Kaye. It’s so brilliant I felt I had to share this with you, enjoy! Carol Kaye on Jazz and simplifying in the studio...

An Interview with Carol Kaye

Regular Spy Tunes student Jeff from the Caribbean Island Grenada just sent me this 1 hour 10 min interview with Carol Kaye. It’s so brilliant I felt I had to share this with you, enjoy! Carol Kaye on Jazz and simplifying in the studio...

There’s a new Guitar Conspiracy available, I’ve updated it. When I do this to one of the eBooks I always send it out to everyone who bought it, as a free update. Here’s one of the emails I had back from Frédéric: “Thanks a...

A Spy Tunes Method Testimonial

There’s a new Guitar Conspiracy available, I’ve updated it. When I do this to one of the eBooks I always send it out to everyone who bought it, as a free update. Here’s one of the emails I had back from Frédéric: “Thanks a...

Unfortunately, Lou Reed has sadly passed away, 71 years old, it’s been confirmed by the Rolling Stone magazine. Lou Reed had an incredible influence on popular music. Personally, I actually first got introduced to chord progressions by Lou Reed. I remember thinking, what are the...

Lou Reed R I P

Unfortunately, Lou Reed has sadly passed away, 71 years old, it’s been confirmed by the Rolling Stone magazine. Lou Reed had an incredible influence on popular music. Personally, I actually first got introduced to chord progressions by Lou Reed. I remember thinking, what are the...

Here are 7 iconic amps you might wanna try out before you spend your hard-earned cash on a new electric guitar amp. Fender Super Reverb Strat lovers look no further! If you and your band mates can cope with the volume and your playing...

7 Iconic Guitar Amps to try before you buy

Here are 7 iconic amps you might wanna try out before you spend your hard-earned cash on a new electric guitar amp. Fender Super Reverb Strat lovers look no further! If you and your band mates can cope with the volume and your playing...

I’ve said it before, I try my hardest to not promote bands I like, I want to keep my focus on teaching you how to learn guitar, not telling the world about new music. However, a few months back I just had to go...

Cells – A Time And A Place

I’ve said it before, I try my hardest to not promote bands I like, I want to keep my focus on teaching you how to learn guitar, not telling the world about new music. However, a few months back I just had to go...

A video named Young Girl Kills The Guitar has started to circulate on Facebook. Is it real or fake? Is this the next big guitar viral? Join the conversation on facebook to find out more. I know I will!

Young Girl Kills The Guitar

A video named Young Girl Kills The Guitar has started to circulate on Facebook. Is it real or fake? Is this the next big guitar viral? Join the conversation on facebook to find out more. I know I will!

It’s not every Saturday that I’m gig less, so when House of Hats played the Brunswick last night under their themed night the Harvest Sessions, I had to go and see what these guys were up to. The Harvest Sessions now run every 3...

House Of Hats at The Harvest Sessions

It’s not every Saturday that I’m gig less, so when House of Hats played the Brunswick last night under their themed night the Harvest Sessions, I had to go and see what these guys were up to. The Harvest Sessions now run every 3...

One of the most pleasant musical surprises of 2012 was that Bruno Mars is actually really good. Maybe even cool. In hindsight, if Mars planned his career, released all those first singles in order to “get the kids” and then planned to release ‘Locked...

Bruno Mars – Sting – Rihanna and Ziggy Marley

One of the most pleasant musical surprises of 2012 was that Bruno Mars is actually really good. Maybe even cool. In hindsight, if Mars planned his career, released all those first singles in order to “get the kids” and then planned to release ‘Locked...

“It’s like a restaurant. If there are lots of people there, it’s gonna be good food,” says Clapton when explaining why he would always go for a worn out guitar neck on a Fender Stratocaster. Finding several of them, changing necks and probably pickups...

Eric Clapton Guitars

“It’s like a restaurant. If there are lots of people there, it’s gonna be good food,” says Clapton when explaining why he would always go for a worn out guitar neck on a Fender Stratocaster. Finding several of them, changing necks and probably pickups...

I was thinking I should arrange an acoustic version of ‘Gangnam Style’ as it is one of those songs that took over the world for a while. However, my lack of Korean singing friends didn’t make this easy but lo and behold, these girls...

Acoustic Gangnam Style

I was thinking I should arrange an acoustic version of ‘Gangnam Style’ as it is one of those songs that took over the world for a while. However, my lack of Korean singing friends didn’t make this easy but lo and behold, these girls...

In this final part of the ‘How To Play Guitar’ video series, I take a super simple I – VI – II – V progression and apply the modes accordingly. The I chord would have Ionian, the VI chord Aeolian, the II chord Dorian...

How To Play Guitar part 4

In this final part of the ‘How To Play Guitar’ video series, I take a super simple I – VI – II – V progression and apply the modes accordingly. The I chord would have Ionian, the VI chord Aeolian, the II chord Dorian...

In this part of the ‘How To Play Guitar’ series, I talk about how to turn pentatonic shapes into modal shapes. This means that those open position chords, which turned into barre chords, which turned into pentatonic shapes can now become modal scales. You have in this...

How To Play Guitar part 3

In this part of the ‘How To Play Guitar’ series, I talk about how to turn pentatonic shapes into modal shapes. This means that those open position chords, which turned into barre chords, which turned into pentatonic shapes can now become modal scales. You have in this...

In this video, I first talk about how the open position chords become barre chords. As you learn how to do this using the cycle of 4th exercise, you will also learn the names of all the notes on the fretboard. Simply call out the...

How To Play Guitar part 2

In this video, I first talk about how the open position chords become barre chords. As you learn how to do this using the cycle of 4th exercise, you will also learn the names of all the notes on the fretboard. Simply call out the...

In this video series, I explain how to play the guitar using chords that eventually become barre chord shapes, pentatonic and modal scales. This all starts with just ten simple open position chords. This means that your ability to understand the guitar relies completely on...

How To Play Guitar part 1

In this video series, I explain how to play the guitar using chords that eventually become barre chord shapes, pentatonic and modal scales. This all starts with just ten simple open position chords. This means that your ability to understand the guitar relies completely on...

For those of you shopping for a high-quality acoustic guitar, you will find yourself having to face the wonderful dilemma of which wood to go for. You’ve got, for example, Mahogany, Rosewood or Koa for the back and sides. As well as this, the...

Guitar Wood

For those of you shopping for a high-quality acoustic guitar, you will find yourself having to face the wonderful dilemma of which wood to go for. You’ve got, for example, Mahogany, Rosewood or Koa for the back and sides. As well as this, the...

There are plenty of sites out there that can download a video guitar lesson from YouTube. Keepvid is one example. It’s easy, free and puts you in a place where you have video lessons on your computer. This is all great stuff but what about looping and...

Loop and Slow Down Video

There are plenty of sites out there that can download a video guitar lesson from YouTube. Keepvid is one example. It’s easy, free and puts you in a place where you have video lessons on your computer. This is all great stuff but what about looping and...

I get a lot of emails from students that sometimes turn into long interesting discussions. These can be anything from what guitar to buy, to questions about modes, arpeggios or general practise routine recommendations. These discussions have led to both my products developing as well as the occasional...

Picking Technique

I get a lot of emails from students that sometimes turn into long interesting discussions. These can be anything from what guitar to buy, to questions about modes, arpeggios or general practise routine recommendations. These discussions have led to both my products developing as well as the occasional...

Thanks to YouTube and social media, the world can discover new talent easier than ever before. No matter where you live or how old you are, a video can be recorded and uploaded for no cost what so ever. And what a beautiful thing it...

Lucciano Pizzichini Guitar Prodigy

Thanks to YouTube and social media, the world can discover new talent easier than ever before. No matter where you live or how old you are, a video can be recorded and uploaded for no cost what so ever. And what a beautiful thing it...

There are many great books about being a musician and practising out there, in the past I have recommended Tonal and Rhythmical Principles by John Mehegan and The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten. By recommendation from a Spy Tunes student, I’ve just finished another...

Effortless Mastery

There are many great books about being a musician and practising out there, in the past I have recommended Tonal and Rhythmical Principles by John Mehegan and The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten. By recommendation from a Spy Tunes student, I’ve just finished another...

In the last couple of blogs, I’ve been talking about triad substitution and chord substitution. In this blog post I’d like to talk about the king of substitutions – The tritone substitution. Here’s how it works: The purpose of a tritone substitution is to create...

Tritone Substitution

In the last couple of blogs, I’ve been talking about triad substitution and chord substitution. In this blog post I’d like to talk about the king of substitutions – The tritone substitution. Here’s how it works: The purpose of a tritone substitution is to create...

In the last blog, I spoke about how to substitute triads when composing melodies or improvising. To make a long story short, the trick was to play three different triads off a chord. In G major, G being chord I, we get G B...

Chord Substitution

In the last blog, I spoke about how to substitute triads when composing melodies or improvising. To make a long story short, the trick was to play three different triads off a chord. In G major, G being chord I, we get G B...

This is a guitar lesson about how to substitute triads when soloing. If you feel that this is all over your head but want to find out more, please visit these links before you attempt the lesson. Arpeggios Chords around the major scale shapes...

Triad Substitution

This is a guitar lesson about how to substitute triads when soloing. If you feel that this is all over your head but want to find out more, please visit these links before you attempt the lesson. Arpeggios Chords around the major scale shapes...

Following on from my last blog about Guthrie Govan scales, I’d like to clear a few things up about what it means to ‘play modally’. I see a lot of communication breakdown over this so I thought I’d share some light on what playing...

Playing Modally

Following on from my last blog about Guthrie Govan scales, I’d like to clear a few things up about what it means to ‘play modally’. I see a lot of communication breakdown over this so I thought I’d share some light on what playing...

Guthrie Govan is an old tutor and colleague of mine, at Bimm we worked alongside each other. During 2006 when I wrote the guitar manual for Bimm, I designed the course around the pentatonic modes, for exactly the same reasons Guthrie speak about in...

Guthrie choose Spy Tunes way

Guthrie Govan is an old tutor and colleague of mine, at Bimm we worked alongside each other. During 2006 when I wrote the guitar manual for Bimm, I designed the course around the pentatonic modes, for exactly the same reasons Guthrie speak about in...

It took over five years but Youtube has now finally got their act together and signed a deal with the NMPA and HPA. The deal means that if you record a cover song and upload to Youtube, the artist who wrote it will get...

Youtube finally pay for artists work

It took over five years but Youtube has now finally got their act together and signed a deal with the NMPA and HPA. The deal means that if you record a cover song and upload to Youtube, the artist who wrote it will get...

Following on from my last Scott Henderson blog, Scott Henderson Melodic Phrasing, let’s take a look at some scale tricks that Scott use. If you are a keen Spy Tunes member you know that I swear by knowing the basics first, avoiding tricks is...

Scott Henderson Pentatonic Secrets

Following on from my last Scott Henderson blog, Scott Henderson Melodic Phrasing, let’s take a look at some scale tricks that Scott use. If you are a keen Spy Tunes member you know that I swear by knowing the basics first, avoiding tricks is...

One of the greatest guitar lessons I’ve had came in the form of an instructional video by Scott Henderson called Melodic Phrasing. This is one of those videos that marked a breakthrough in guitar education, Scott Henderson was at the time heavily involved in...

Scott Henderson Melodic Phrasing

One of the greatest guitar lessons I’ve had came in the form of an instructional video by Scott Henderson called Melodic Phrasing. This is one of those videos that marked a breakthrough in guitar education, Scott Henderson was at the time heavily involved in...

SWR have a great reputation as bass amp manufacturers. They took the experience from building high headroom clean bass amps since 1984 and adapted the concept for the acoustic guitar market already back in the 90s. The California Blonde II hit the shops around 2006....

SWR Amps Review

SWR have a great reputation as bass amp manufacturers. They took the experience from building high headroom clean bass amps since 1984 and adapted the concept for the acoustic guitar market already back in the 90s. The California Blonde II hit the shops around 2006....

German AER (Audio Electric Research) showcased their initial product at a music fair in Frankfurt already in 1992. This marked the beginning of the ‘Acousticube’ that was set to appeal to the boutique market of acoustic players who wanted the best possible amp, in a...

Aer Amps Review

German AER (Audio Electric Research) showcased their initial product at a music fair in Frankfurt already in 1992. This marked the beginning of the ‘Acousticube’ that was set to appeal to the boutique market of acoustic players who wanted the best possible amp, in a...

American Taylor started making guitars in sunny California back in 1974. They rapidly made a name for themselves in the industry by being the new kid on the block. A worldwide distribution ensured most guitar players have played a Taylor making them a household...

Taylor Guitars Review

American Taylor started making guitars in sunny California back in 1974. They rapidly made a name for themselves in the industry by being the new kid on the block. A worldwide distribution ensured most guitar players have played a Taylor making them a household...

Family owned Martin Guitars date back to 1833, making them a veteran among guitar manufacturers. Amazingly they have actually kept it in the family. The current chairman and CEO, C.F. Chris Martin IV, is the great-great-great-grandson of the founder who was born in 1796!...

Martin Guitars Review

Family owned Martin Guitars date back to 1833, making them a veteran among guitar manufacturers. Amazingly they have actually kept it in the family. The current chairman and CEO, C.F. Chris Martin IV, is the great-great-great-grandson of the founder who was born in 1796!...

Jean Larrivee studied classical guitar but soon turned to building them instead after meeting Edgar Monch (German Luthier) in his early twenties. Jean became Edgar’s apprentice and built a few classical guitars in his workshop before moving on to continue his passion from his home...

Larrivee Guitars Review

Jean Larrivee studied classical guitar but soon turned to building them instead after meeting Edgar Monch (German Luthier) in his early twenties. Jean became Edgar’s apprentice and built a few classical guitars in his workshop before moving on to continue his passion from his home...

A capo is a device you fit on the guitar neck in order to use open position chords and open strings in general, starting at any given fret. Most people use a capo to change key but creatively you can go much further than...

Guitar Capo Review

A capo is a device you fit on the guitar neck in order to use open position chords and open strings in general, starting at any given fret. Most people use a capo to change key but creatively you can go much further than...

If you got your perfect guitar and perfect amp you might find that whatever overdrive pedal you add, it sounds like a pedal added. You start looking at clean boost pedals but may find that what they promise is never actually what they deliver,...

Klon Centaur Review

If you got your perfect guitar and perfect amp you might find that whatever overdrive pedal you add, it sounds like a pedal added. You start looking at clean boost pedals but may find that what they promise is never actually what they deliver,...

These cases are superb, you pack your guitars in one super light flight case, drag it to the gig (yes wheels are included) put it on stage, take the lid off and you are ready to go! If you bring more than one guitar...

Scott Dixon Cases Review

These cases are superb, you pack your guitars in one super light flight case, drag it to the gig (yes wheels are included) put it on stage, take the lid off and you are ready to go! If you bring more than one guitar...

Vox amplifiers started their production in 1957. The AC15 and AC30 quickly took the world by storm as they were the choice of most bands part of the ‘British Invasion’. The Beatles even used Vox amps in their legendary last American gig, football sized...

Vox Amps Review

Vox amplifiers started their production in 1957. The AC15 and AC30 quickly took the world by storm as they were the choice of most bands part of the ‘British Invasion’. The Beatles even used Vox amps in their legendary last American gig, football sized...

Jim Marshall started out in the early 60s selling drums and giving drum lessons in his own shop in Hanwell, west London. As well as having Keith Moon as a regular customer, Jim got visits from London guitar players like Pete Townsend and Eric...

Marshall Amps Review

Jim Marshall started out in the early 60s selling drums and giving drum lessons in his own shop in Hanwell, west London. As well as having Keith Moon as a regular customer, Jim got visits from London guitar players like Pete Townsend and Eric...

Fender might have become most known for their guitar and bass models such as the Telecaster, the Stratocaster and the Precision but Leo actually started out repairing amps. In 1938, Leo Fender set up his first company ‘Fender’s Radio Service’ where he repaired radios,...

Fender Amps Review

Fender might have become most known for their guitar and bass models such as the Telecaster, the Stratocaster and the Precision but Leo actually started out repairing amps. In 1938, Leo Fender set up his first company ‘Fender’s Radio Service’ where he repaired radios,...

Dennis Cornell built a name for himself by repairing and modding classic amps for many years. This led him to start building custom amps for clients and eventually developing his own range of amps. These days, Dennis combine his time between repairing high-end boutique amps...

Cornell Amps Review

Dennis Cornell built a name for himself by repairing and modding classic amps for many years. This led him to start building custom amps for clients and eventually developing his own range of amps. These days, Dennis combine his time between repairing high-end boutique amps...

Almost two decades before the Broadcaster, Telecaster, Stratocaster and Les Paul defined what an electric guitar was, another company had already invented the electric guitar. It was indeed Rickenbacker that invented the electric guitar and the body used Bakelite, not wood! The road leading...

Rickenbacker Guitars Review

Almost two decades before the Broadcaster, Telecaster, Stratocaster and Les Paul defined what an electric guitar was, another company had already invented the electric guitar. It was indeed Rickenbacker that invented the electric guitar and the body used Bakelite, not wood! The road leading...

Orville Gibson started making mandolins in his own way and patented the design in 1898. The design Orville invented was the Archtop, enabling the mandolin to become a much louder instrument. On the back of Orville’s original concept “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd.” was...

Gibson Guitars Review

Orville Gibson started making mandolins in his own way and patented the design in 1898. The design Orville invented was the Archtop, enabling the mandolin to become a much louder instrument. On the back of Orville’s original concept “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd.” was...

Leo Fender bore Rickenbacker and Gibson‘s concepts in mind when he built his solid body Broadcaster in the late 40s. A cheaper to build instrument than the Gibson models, and no bakelite as with the Rickenbacker. A few years on and fender had developed the...

Fender Guitars Review

Leo Fender bore Rickenbacker and Gibson‘s concepts in mind when he built his solid body Broadcaster in the late 40s. A cheaper to build instrument than the Gibson models, and no bakelite as with the Rickenbacker. A few years on and fender had developed the...

I met up with Ace from Skunk Anansie who was kind enough to demonstrate how to play some of his classic songs. Skunk Anansie reached around the world with their songs and Ace was the founding member and driving force behind the band. The band...

Ace from Skunk Anansie

I met up with Ace from Skunk Anansie who was kind enough to demonstrate how to play some of his classic songs. Skunk Anansie reached around the world with their songs and Ace was the founding member and driving force behind the band. The band...

Just had an email from one of our members who has been with Spy Tunes for a year and a half now. This is what she has to say. Dear Dan and Spytuners, I wish to share with you something really nice that has...

Spy Tunes Student Testamonial

Just had an email from one of our members who has been with Spy Tunes for a year and a half now. This is what she has to say. Dear Dan and Spytuners, I wish to share with you something really nice that has...

7 years ago the seed to Spytunes and The Guitar Conspiracy was sown. I had just arrived in the U.K, signed up to a music college and decided that this time I was gonna ‘lock myself in the shed’ as they say and stay...

Jazz Improvisation: Tonal and Rhythmic Principles

7 years ago the seed to Spytunes and The Guitar Conspiracy was sown. I had just arrived in the U.K, signed up to a music college and decided that this time I was gonna ‘lock myself in the shed’ as they say and stay...

I admit, I used to be very into jazz and fusion improvisation when I was in my late teens. I see a lot of students go through the same emotions. It’s as if they want to prove to the world that they are good...

Victor Wooten novel The Music Lesson

I admit, I used to be very into jazz and fusion improvisation when I was in my late teens. I see a lot of students go through the same emotions. It’s as if they want to prove to the world that they are good...