Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must power listen I listened to all 24 lectures in one most captivating weekend.
Date published: 2020-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Raises Your Game I purchased this course after sampling it on The Great Courses Plus. I am an intermediate level guitarist and I'm always looking for new techiniques to broaden my range. This course has many. The first lesson had me. The instructor takes you through the steps to learning both the lead and rhythm parts of a famous Van Halen song, including the tapping technique that was Eddie Van Halen's signature. The rest of the course includes other very practical techniques that are perfect for increasing an intermdediate to advanced guitarist's repertoire. There is also very interesting backround information on the different guitar styles and guitartists' biographies. I would not, however, recommend this for a beginner. This same instructor does have another course that would be more appopriate for that level.
Date published: 2020-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful musical journey through time and genres My husband and I went through this course together and enjoyed it immensely, even though we have rather different interests and orientations. (He's a songwriter, casual guitar player, eclectic music appreciator. I like to play classical and fingerstyle, can read standard notation and tabs, and know my basic chords, strumming and fingerpicking.) We both enjoyed the exposure to, and trying our hand at, the various genres, from classical to Django to Pink Floyd. I loved the solo guitar pieces, and plan to incorporate them in my repertoire. We liked learning about the different artists and influences on the styles. Going through this course broadened us musically, and piqued our interest in different artists. There's a lot of material to go through, and it's a great resource to come back to for those lessons that got skimmed the first time around. The lessons can be challenging, and music can go at a pretty fast clip, so some may benefit from lots of rewind and slo-mo. Dr. McAllister is a gifted musician, composer and teacher. This is a well-designed course.
Date published: 2020-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Resource for Learning You can never know enough. This course, as does the previous guitar course " Learning to Play Guitar", offers the student or teacher information to expand their knowledge of the guitar.
Date published: 2020-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy lesson. I bought this course to learn a few Technics, I received more than I payed for.
Date published: 2020-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from lots of good information and solid examples of practice drills .
Date published: 2019-12-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too advanced for me. Will be exchanging. Too advanced for me. Will be exchanging for a novice version of Guitar training.
Date published: 2019-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is less a course, more a resource Most GC products are watched or listened to once and then shelved, I imagine. This is different as it offers a range of guitar tutorials which can be used and re-used, alone or with the accompanying backing tracks. The instructor is laid back but clearly has a very good sense of what an effective teacher needs to do. I looked at the reviews before I purchased this. Some complained that it was too advanced and some complained that it was no better than what one can find on YouTube. Both of these are incorrect IMO. This is not an advanced course. It does not load you down with Dorian modes and the Circle of Fifths. It will not let you jam along to Dream Theater. But on the other hand, if your guitar playing is of the campfire variety [and if you do not possess an electric instrument] then this will be a waste of your time [and of course cash]. Can you find this content on YouTube? Yes, of course. There is an infinite universe of guitar out there. But you have to find it, and you would have to keep searching because most players work in solely one genre. McAllister here offers a wide range of styles in one place, from classical to Van Halen. So, I am happy with my purchase. As I implied, I have not 'completed' the course; I am using it as a resource and quite often watch a segment from my Digital Library when I just want to watch the technique. So this can't be a definitive review but it is I hope helpful.
Date published: 2019-10-27
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Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance
Course Trailer
Hot Lava: Van Halen’s Two-Handed Tapping
1: Hot Lava: Van Halen’s Two-Handed Tapping

Dr. Colin McAllister begins his second guitar course with one of lead guitar’s most extravagant techniques: two-handed tapping. Using an original composition inspired by the legendary Eddie Van Halen, Dr. McAllister teaches this elaborate performance tool hands-on and step by step, in an accessible and easy-to-follow lesson.

39 min
	Hot Lava Backing Track - Lead
2: Hot Lava Backing Track - Lead

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
	Hot Lava Backing Track - Rhythm
3: Hot Lava Backing Track - Rhythm

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Luna Negra: Soloing like David Gilmour
4: Luna Negra: Soloing like David Gilmour

Here, Dr. McAllister dissects the unique, blues-influenced soloing style of Pink Floyd’s lead guitarist, David Gilmour. Along the way, he’ll introduce you to some of the band’s fascinating history before outlining two playing techniques: vibrato and string bending. As with the other lessons, it includes backing tracks at the end.

37 min
	Luna Negra Backing Track
5: Luna Negra Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Barnhill’s Blues: Going Acoustic like Clapton
6: Barnhill’s Blues: Going Acoustic like Clapton

Eric Clapton’s concert for the MTV Unplugged series is one of the most famous ever played. In this lesson, you’re invited to unplug and play bluesy swing rhythms and learn the Hendrix-inspired playing style that balances both lead and rhythm guitar with just one guitarist in order to help fill out the sound of any single-player performance.

43 min
Grant Green Street: Funk Rhythm and Licks
7: Grant Green Street: Funk Rhythm and Licks

Take a trip to 1970s Detroit and master the sound of Grant Green, a funk and blues guitarist for Blue Note Records whose personal life was as colorful as his talent on the six-string. Learn—and learn about—funk-style chord strumming as well as crosspicking, a melodic picking style partly owing its fame to bluegrass.

37 min
	Grant Green Street Backing Track
8: Grant Green Street Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Fantasía Ibérica: Celin Romero’s Rasgueado
9: Fantasía Ibérica: Celin Romero’s Rasgueado

Dramatically switching genres, Dr. McAllister approachably demonstrates staples of classical acoustic guitar, including rasgueado, or playing with the fingernails; right-hand arpeggios, planting the right hand’s fingers on strings to nimbly traverse the guitar; pizzicato, or playing with the thumb while palm-muting with the hand’s outer edge; and tremolo, sustaining a note by finger-picking rapidly and repeatedly.

44 min
Sunday Drive: Leo Brouwer–Style Classical
10: Sunday Drive: Leo Brouwer–Style Classical

Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s one-of-a-kind Afro-Cuban classical guitar style provides the basis for this remarkable lesson. Interweaving slow playing with rapid hammer-ons and open-string licks, Brouwer’s trademark sound effortlessly switches from easy performance to challenging and back quickly and deftly—and it may have just the flair your next composition is missing.

36 min
Manitou Swing: Django’s Gypsy Jazz
11: Manitou Swing: Django’s Gypsy Jazz

Dr. McAllister leads a masterful study of one of the greatest jazz guitarists in history—Django Reinhardt. Perfect the arts of staccato chords, fast vibrato, sliding, and other “Gypsy jazz” elements, and bring Reinhardt’s 1930s and 40s to life on your own six-string.

35 min
	Manitou Swing Backing Track
12: Manitou Swing Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Anselm’s Caper: Bebopping like Tal Farlow
13: Anselm’s Caper: Bebopping like Tal Farlow

Start with George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” or the theme song from The Flintstones, then increase the tempo and add the frenzied playing of Charlie Parker or Tal Farlow. This is the structure for “rhythm changes” jazz. Don’t worry, Dr. McAllister comes through again with examples, theory, and practical use for the aspiring guitarist.

39 min
	Anselm’s Caper Backing Track
14: Anselm’s Caper Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Blue 13: Wes Montgomery’s Octave Melodies
15: Blue 13: Wes Montgomery’s Octave Melodies

Journey back to the meat and potatoes of improvisational music—the 12-bar blues structure—and spice it up with additional chord progressions and octave-based melodies popularized by jazz legend Wes Montgomery. Fine-tune your thumb strumming and master the style of this legend.

39 min
	Blue 13 Backing Track
16: Blue 13 Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

4 min
Moto Perpetuo: Andy McKee–Style Workout
17: Moto Perpetuo: Andy McKee–Style Workout

Andy McKee’s percussive use of the body of the steel-string guitar, coupled with his right-hand tapping and slapping harmonics, defies categorization. The first guitar sensation on YouTube, boasting 100 million views, Andy’s lovely and unconventional playing led him to open for Prince. Learn several of his innovative techniques today and how to “play outside the box.”

42 min
Way Beyond: Intervallic John McLaughlin
18: Way Beyond: Intervallic John McLaughlin

Broaden your musical horizons with this lesson inspired by John McLaughlin, a prominent jazz fusion guitarist who featured on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew. Dr. McAllister uses McLaughlin as evidence to enlighten the viewer about cross-rhythms, interval-based music, and changing time signatures.

46 min
	Way Beyond Backing Track
19: Way Beyond Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Sketch for Barbara: Pat Metheny’s Influence
20: Sketch for Barbara: Pat Metheny’s Influence

This lesson focuses on the modern jazz waltz, utilizing arpeggiated improvisation and cross-rhythms in the vein of Pat Metheny. Metheny is known for his blend of highly technical yet swinging play style in jazz and blues, adding a distinct flavor to each genre—especially during the changing musical scene of the 1970s and ‘80s.

39 min
	Sketch for Barbara Backing Track
21: Sketch for Barbara Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Cinq de Blanc: The Police’s Quintal Harmony
22: Cinq de Blanc: The Police’s Quintal Harmony

Thanks to guitarist Andy Summers, most songs by The Police are instantly recognizable. His focus on fifth intervals and reggae-style playing gave the band their signature sound, and hits like “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take” give excellent context to this study and insight into your own songwriting.

38 min
	Cinq de Blanc Backing Track
23: Cinq de Blanc Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Tarsus: Power Arpeggios of Alex Lifeson
24: Tarsus: Power Arpeggios of Alex Lifeson

Unleash your inner progressive-rock beast with this Rush-inspired exercise of shifting time signatures, power chords, and crosspicking. The intrinsic and dynamic qualities of the prog-rock subgenre are laid bare here in an easy-paced, digestible format for you to ramp up your technical game.

42 min
	Tarsus Backing Track - Lead
25: Tarsus Backing Track - Lead

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
	Tarsus Backing Track - Rhythm
26: Tarsus Backing Track - Rhythm

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Samba Sonrisa: Playing Brazilian Style
27: Samba Sonrisa: Playing Brazilian Style

This lesson covers the lovely subgenre of Brazilian-style bossa nova. Bossa nova, which includes “The Girl from Ipanema,” surged in the early 1960s thanks to guitarist João Gilberto and pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. They developed its smooth acoustic plucking and syncopation into a cool, slowed samba irresistible to master guitarists.

42 min
Cumulus: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell
28: Cumulus: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell

Dr. McAllister teaches the viewer how to make use of open D tuning and switch between strumming and playing slur-based melodies, enabling him or her to emulate Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. “Cumulus” gives you the opportunity to adapt the full, rich sounds of the legendary artist and the 1960s-70s folk movement.

40 min
Gog Magog: Bluegrass and Flatpicking
29: Gog Magog: Bluegrass and Flatpicking

It’s quicker than a fighter jet and more intricate than an Agatha Christie murder mystery, but you’ve got this! Apply everything you’ve learned so far from this course about hammer-ons and pull-offs (or “slurs”), open notes, speed, and precision to tackle a lightning-fast—and seemingly intimidating—American musical creation: bluegrass.

47 min
	Gog Magog Backing Track
30: Gog Magog Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Whisper Creek: American Folk Music
31: Whisper Creek: American Folk Music

Ballads of America’s downtrodden. Post-Dustbowl hardships. Empty bottles. It may not seem flashy or glamorous at first glance, but the viewer crosses the finish line with this snapshot of a nation, a people, a time. Complete your journey of guitar edification with folk music—that most humble, somber, and sincere of American working-class genres.

38 min
Echo Park
32: Echo Park

American Surf Guitar. Revisit the early 1960s sound of surf rock by freshening up on the rapid picking and steady 16th-note rhythms that dominated the beach. Dr. McAllister shows you how to play like Dick Dale and The Beach Boys, while enlightening you about everything from the Rendezvous Ballroom fire to Brian Wilson’s nervous breakdown.

17 min
Echo Park Backing Track
33: Echo Park Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Colin McAllister

Most importantly, good technique allows us to express our musicality without inhibition.

ALMA MATER

University of California, San Diego

INSTITUTION

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

About Colin McAllister

Colin McAllister is the Music Program Director at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in Musical Arts at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied guitar with Celin and Pepe Romero, interpretation with Bertram Turetzky, and conducting with Harvey Sollberger and Rand Steiger.

Dr. McAllister has taught the guitar and performed professionally as a guitarist for more than 25 years. He has made more than 1,000 appearances with organizations including the San Diego Opera, the San Diego Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony. Dr. McAllister is also a member of the jazz ensemble Hennessy 6. In 2016, he entered an artist partnership with Taylor Guitars.

Dr. McAllister has recorded on several record labels, including Albany Records, Tzadik Records, and Naxos. He also pursues research interests in 3rd and 4th century religious beliefs related to apocalypticism and early medieval commentary on the Book of Revelation.

Dr. McAllister lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado, with his wife Barbara and their children. In addition to his academic studies in music and the apocalypse, he has climbed more than 35 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, along with Mount Whitney in California and three high volcanoes in Mexico.

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