Lesson Testimonials

Here's what others have said about my guitar lessons...



I have been searching for a number of years for a resource that would explain in a relatively easy manner the subject of modal harmony and I just wanted to drop you a line to say that your two lessons on the subject from your webpage have been a real revelation for me. I knew all of the modes and fingerings but just couldn't find any information on how to build modal progressions. Various websites show the formulas for the modal progressions but I have not seen a clear explanation on the theory behind why these various progressions are modal. Now I have the tools to not only write my own progressions but to fully understand how these work.

I will be working with these lessons for a while but I just wanted to say thank you for providing these lessons on the web. Your explanations are concise and clear and light bulb after light bulb went off as I was reading them. I would encourage you to continue your efforts and to say that your lessons have helped at least one guitarist understand how modal harmony works.

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to post these lessons and to read my email.


Dr. Donald J. Lacombe



I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post these guitar lessons. I can safely say I've learned most of what I know so far from your tutorials. I've been playing about five months, and they've kept my motivation alive which [in turn] helped me get through some tough beginning difficulties.


Colin Wilkins


Hi Gabriel,

I did as you said in your intro., stumble across your wealth or guitar resource. Thanks for being so kind to put so much material on the web in a concise and easy to read format. I am an obsessed guitarist, being player, songwriter and sort of singer... for many years.

My guitar went into a bit of hibernation for a few years, never thought I'd break free of the Stairway to Heaven riff or dazzling my audience (a pet dog) with House of the Rising Sun brilliance. Anyway, my goal has always been to get into some very nice solo playing. With a very nice collection of Fenders and some amp power, I have embarked on a journey of the BLUES... taking riffs from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Steve Cropper and Gary Moore, all great stuff. Of course, there is the pure technical beauty of David Gilmour and one of my other favorites, Brian May from Queen.

What had escaped me was the use of the minor pentatonic beyond running up five notes then returning in a some dazzling display of speed. I guess you'd call it a scale of speed with no meat. So, in that case, your site, and its contents, helps one a great deal to move around in a more knowledgeable fashion understanding why certain notes can be played etc..

Thanks once more for sharing what is obviously a very long and tough job to keep your site so up to date and very easy to work with.

Well done and I hope you keep twanging your tunes for as long the music takes you there.

Kind regards,

Geoff J. Whitehead


Hi Gabriel,

Just wanted to say a huge thanks for your guitar theory site! In some ways it has changed my life (for the better).

My name is Bill (from Michigan)... been playing guitar over 20 years and in/out of various bands, but was pretty much a pentatonic player until I discovered your excellent lessons. I'm sort of a recluse over the last few years, and I feel bad for not emailing before. I hope you don't think I'm not genuine in my thanks because I am.

Guitar-wise some of my favorites are gilmour (really!), jj cale, jerry garcia, danny gatton, jeff beck, george benson - also a huge zappa fan/bootleg collector. I'm definately stuck in the 70s! So I like your modal/feel style of playing right away.

After all this time playing, stacks of guitar books, searches on the web and slowing music down, I still couldn't figure out what was going on with modes. Interesingly enough, the people I knew through the years that understood modes were not giving any information away.

Found your lesson site about 5 months ago, and it totally opened up my guitar playing. I learned the major scale in the 7 postitions, and am now playing modally, it all came together real fast for me... although I'm still noodling - your lessons are wonderful. I read through the basic and intermediate lessons twice and the advanced once, I don't understand it all, but many concepts are clearer now. The interval stuff on there is priceless, I started to understand that the emotional content in music is all inside those intervals.   :)   If only I had understood all this years ago!

I would like to see these lessons again, as there is so much there I still need to work on. I will pay you no problem, just let me know. Personally, I think you should charge for them, this is secret info man, especially for people who haven't gone to somewhere like Berklee... and I would much rather pay you then some hack teacher (lots of them) or a 'guitar' book that teaches only a portion of the 'bigger picture'.


Bill Brown


I wanted to improve my guitar playing, I decided I needed to know more about the "whys" of music rather than just the "how to" of technique. Gabriel's (Flupe's) lessons are exactly what I needed:

  1. They are easy to read.

  2. They cover a subject (music theory for guitar) which is glossed over by virtually all other guitar instruction manuals.

  3. They start slowly (whole and half steps) and get really in-depth (modes, diatonic harmony, secondary dominants).

  4. They're inexpensive.

It becomes clear after the first few lessons that this is material written by a guitar player who is really interested in helping other guitarists learn more about their instrument, improve their guitar playing, and enjoy the process of creating music. These are great, great lessons and I highly recommend them to anybody who wants to learn a little or a lot more about music theory for guitar.

T. Dew
Warwick, Bermuda



I'm 53. I played drums in high school. I can still read rhythm but I certainly don't have a polished sight-reading ability and did not know anything about musical notes. I bought a guitar 11-11-04. Two lessons, two scales, three chords and $60.00 later I realized at that rate I would be broke and the grave would have me before I could play, not to mention I did not have clue as to what the instructor was telling me.

I am not a person who would be happy just knowing a few chords. I must understand the fretboard. After searching the Net and finding that every site claimed their system would have me playing in 30 seconds, minutes or days and buying a book - still confusion.

I found your site 12-1-04, searching for an understanding of intervals, that same night, after reading through the first few lessons, using the W-W-H-W-W-W-H structure, I took your advice and put aside the study materials, turned on Bluesville on XM radio and played on just one string for two hours straight... FANTASTIC.

My wife heard me and was truly amazed. Admittedly, understanding rhythm and the structure of a 12-bar blues helps. I am studying your material daily, still practice scales and fingering exercises, then I play my eight and quarter note "leads" along with the radio saying the notes as I play them - using a different string every night. How can it get better than learning to play by doing just that?

If you exaggerated at all it was through under-statement. A "Good Teacher" is worth their weight in GOLD. I just purchased the remaining lessons. From someone living above the 45th parallel, cold weather and long nights, I know I will being playing around the campfire this coming summer.

Thanks you,

"Badfinger" Bart


Hello Gabriel,

The internet has no shortage of guitar lessons, but it's not always that talented guitarists are good teachers. In fact, few show the clarity that you do in revealing music theory specifically for guitar.

Initially, I just wanted to find lessons to learn to use more than just the typical and familiar chords I've been using for years, but unexpectedly, I am now immersed in a wonderful and non-stop journey into an exploration of musical harmony and melodies thanks to your lessons. Indeed, I've gotten down to what I've really wanted to do for years and that is really learning the guitar.

Thanks so much,

Stan Seko


I already had a fairly good working knowledge of music theory from past schooling and ten-plus years of professional performance, but Gabriel's Guitar and Music Theory Lessons really helped me connect theory to application. The lessons are clear, comprehensive and worth every penny.

Alastair Moock  (Professional Musician)

Here is a response I got back when asking if my client had received the lessons. Also, I was curious to see what he thought of them.



Yes, thanks for the follow up. I don't get follow ups from the author of music programs, so thanks for the email. I have played at the guitar since I was 13. I'm now 53. I have masters and run a statewide business and have played in a band called "The Executives" (we all are CEO's). We do weekend stuff for fun. Just played a garden party in Sacramento two weeks ago. I've studied music on and off since college days 30 years ago and ran across your web site when I did a search on "extended pentatonic scales" or something similar to that. I went through your first ten or so lessons quickly and now I'm going through more carefully. I know most of the first 10 or so lessons really well, I studied music in college and have read lots of music theory books (Piston/Leon White/Hal Leonard, etc.) and I'm impressed with the way you've presented the material. Your valuable graphics and use of colored text is very well done.

I like your study suggestions too, including playing of the major scale on a single string. Great idea. Something I should have thought of a long time ago. It's simple but extremely effective as a way to internalize the scale and learn the notes. I've been working on learning each note on the fretboard for about three months and have it about 80 percent at this point. I would have learned the fret board way faster if I had run across your lessons first.

Anyway, I love what you've done. I have lots of books and software programs on guitar-oriented music theory and training and nothing puts it across as well as what you've done and I love the fact that it's on computer. I can take it with me on my laptop instead of a book to read at night before I fall asleep, read it at the counter in the kitchen, print out certain pages, take it with me when I travel. It's great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I also followed a link from your page and bought the excellent "Guitar Power" and "Personal Ear Trainer" software. I've had similar stuff but not quite as good as these two programs. The Guitar Power program in particular is quite useful in studying the scales while I jam along to the Jam Tracks it has on it.

Anyway, long way of saying "Thank you!" What a great deal. What did I pay for that, $20.00? Incredible. It's worth a heck of a lot more than that. You should print it out and get it distributed via Guitar Center. It's way better than the stuff they have in there. I've got most of those Hal Lenoard books and they are okay, but what you've done is much better. Ricky Rooksby publishes some stuff I also have and enjoy reading, and your's is on that level. Must have and must keep stuff. Thanks again for the follow up message. Nice to see that the author is interested in feedback. Oh, almost forgot. I downloaded your "Day in the Life" and really enjoyed it. I always loved that song, haven't heard it in many years. Nice work on it. Great recording quality too. Later.

Michael E. Cantrall, M.A.
Sacramento, California

When I asked if I could post Michael's email, this is what he had to say...

Sure, go ahead. Meant every word. I'm finishing for the night. Went through lesson 6. Excellent presentation. It's obvious that you've done a lot of thinking about how to get these concepts of music theory and application across, and how to avoid the typical confusion that occurs in music/guitar teachings (terms like up/down, higher/lower, how to count intervals, etc.). Most teachers make a lot of assumptions regarding the typical student, in fact forgetting that the student doesn't know even the simple stuff, like how to count intervals, the counting vs. the quality of an interval. Great teachers assume the student doesn't know anything and move from there. You've done a good job covering it all clearly and concisely. Very easy to read and understand and chopped into logical blocks (lessons).

I have an entire library of guitar and music theory publications and wasn't expecting to find something I didn't already have in one form or another...until I read your first lesson on the net.

Also, I'd bet there's also a market for a concise series on the theory and application of improvising within the various popular scales - that's practical in nature with LOTS of graphics of the sort you are capable of developing. Espec. the extended forms that go all over the fretboard, and espec with respect to the pentatonics. There's very little available on how to learn the whole picture, but lots of stuff on the (disconnected) individual positional patterns/boxes. Just a thought.

I found that the "Guitar Gramoire" series is way too concordance/reference in nature to really be used for practical daily use. It's nice to have when there's a question, but it's not something I have out when I'm jamming to a blues backing track.

Hope this helps.


And one final word I thought I'd share from Michael...


Hi there. Nice to see your email. I'm getting ready to go somewhere now. Band practice until late last night, so I'll write a full response around Monday evening, as I'm leaving for another gig tomorrow AM. I do a lot of music things on the weekend. I might have mentioned I'm a guitar player in a local Sacramento area band and have friends in the real music performance business. Anyway, I'm loving the material. Going back through for a third time and working it out while having my guitar and amp on. I'll give you some more in depth comments in the next few days. Short word is that it's fantastic stuff. Exactly the sort of thing I was in search of. It's totally cool stuff to digest. Reminds me of when I read this Ph.D. type paper written by, I think it was Charles Mingus or something like that about 20 years ago. I really loved that too.



Needless to say, being compared to Charlie Mingus was very flattering indeed. Thank you Michael for your support! Your words make me very happy. It's so great to hear that my work is paying off by helping others achieve their goals.


I really appreciate the quality of your lessons. They are VERY professional, easy to read, and I understand everything so far perfectly. I've been playing for about 6 years but have never learned the theory behind it all (because I taught myself). Let me tell ya, I've searched around the internet for the best lessons at a reasonable price--yours is unbeatable!