20 Years of Guitar Teaching Wisdom That You Can Use Right Now

Welcome to a treasure trove of insights from Dennis Winge’s 20 years of guitar teaching experience. This resource is designed to help beginners, intermediate, and advanced students overcome common pitfalls and gain a big-picture perspective on key guitar topics. Each section includes audio clips that you can stream or download for your convenience.


In the introduction, Dennis shares his journey and philosophy of teaching guitar, highlighting the importance of a tailored approach to meet individual student needs.


Understanding harmony is crucial for every guitarist.

  • Beginner: Learn the basics of chord construction, major and minor triads, and simple chord progressions.
  • Intermediate: Explore more complex chords, such as seventh chords, and their use in various musical contexts.
  • Advanced: Dive into advanced harmonic concepts, including chord substitutions, extended chords, and modal interchange.


Rhythm is the backbone of music, and mastering it can significantly improve your playing.

  • Beginner: Focus on basic strumming patterns, time signatures, and keeping a steady beat.
  • Intermediate: Develop your ability to play syncopated rhythms, different strumming techniques, and more complex time signatures.
  • Advanced: Challenge yourself with polyrhythms, odd time signatures, and advanced strumming techniques.


Melody is the soul of music, and learning to craft beautiful melodies is a key skill for any guitarist.

  • Beginner: Start with simple scales, basic melodic patterns, and easy solos.
  • Intermediate: Work on phrasing, articulation, and incorporating dynamics into your melodies.
  • Advanced: Master advanced scales, modes, and improvisation techniques to create captivating solos.


Good technique is essential for clean, efficient playing and avoiding injury.

  • Beginner: Focus on proper hand positioning, basic picking and fretting techniques, and building finger strength.
  • Intermediate: Improve your alternate picking, legato playing, and finger independence.
  • Advanced: Perfect advanced techniques like sweep picking, tapping, and hybrid picking.

Fretboard Theory

Understanding the fretboard is fundamental for navigating the guitar with ease.

  • Beginner: Learn the notes on the fretboard, basic scale shapes, and simple position shifting.
  • Intermediate: Study the CAGED system, pentatonic and major scale patterns across the neck.
  • Advanced: Explore advanced fretboard visualization techniques, modal playing, and connecting scale patterns seamlessly.

Aural Skills

Developing a good ear is crucial for any musician.

  • Beginner: Practice identifying intervals, basic chord progressions, and simple melodies by ear.
  • Intermediate: Work on transcribing solos, recognizing more complex chord progressions, and improving your relative pitch.
  • Advanced: Train your ear for advanced harmony, complex rhythms, and perfect pitch exercises.

Music Theory

A solid understanding of music theory can enhance your playing and creativity.

  • Beginner: Learn the basics of scales, chords, and simple harmonic concepts.
  • Intermediate: Study key signatures, chord functions, and basic modulation techniques.
  • Advanced: Dive into advanced theory topics such as extended harmony, counterpoint, and advanced modulation.


In the conclusion, Dennis discusses the physical, psychological & spiritual benefits to playing music, and the importance of visualize yourself being able to achieve your long-term musical goals.  Dennis also emphasizes the importance of consistent practice, a positive attitude, and a lifelong love for learning music.

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