David Hodge

Since joining Guitar Noise in 1999, David has written over a thousand articles, lessons, interviews and reviews here. He also serves as the site's Managing Editor, supervising all content in addition to the continued writing of his own lessons and articles. And if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, David is also the author of seven instructional books, the most recent being Idiot’s Guide: Guitar Theory.

Featured on Guitar Noise


  1. Rob
    July 4th, 2012 @ 1:33 am

    This is a very well written lesson. I can see it helping lots of people! I have found that- unfortunately- one of the best ways to start getting solos together is to…well…start soloing.

    You don’t really know what interesting (or uninteresting) noises you will make unless you actually do it. Sometimes convincing students to make that leap of faith is the biggest step.

  2. Midax
    August 31st, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    Amazing – I just started taking guitar lessons (after playing for over 40 years) and this is exactly what my instructor was teaching me last time. Work the C major scale over the chord changes rather than the basic pentatonic.

    David’s presentation is excellent and the examples and backing track are very helpful. Just gotta do it.

  3. Chris
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

    That was probably the most useful lesson that I have ever had. I studied classical guitar in college and can read quite well. I learned my triads from book so I could play with the Jazz group, but I could never improvise. Now I can a little. Thank you very much.

  4. Bobby Kittleberger
    February 13th, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    David — Great lesson man…lots of detail and a full explanation. Applied scales is a difficult topic to grasp and teach, and I don’t think I got the hang of it until my 3rd or 4th year of playing.

  5. Roger
    February 17th, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    Great series of lessons! I like the way you break it down to bite size chunks, which makes it easier for us older fellers to digest! Other instructors always want to throw as much as they can at you in a short period of time. This just leaves me bewildered and frustrated. The only issue I have is technical. I can’t seem to download the MP3 files onto my computer, which would be really helpful to enable me to play them directly through my G-DEC amp. Can you include an easy to use link?

    Thanks a ton!


  6. koollucian2012
    March 1st, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    I would like to download the mp3s that are embedded in your lessons. Any tip how I can do that? Do I need to download an mp3 downloader program? Would appreciate your kind response. Thanks.

  7. Guitar Noise
    March 4th, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    Finally, you can download the MP3s again. I’ve been trying to make it so the examples work on as many devices as possible, whether it be a phone, a tablet, or a computer. After a bit of trial and error I see there are still some things to work out. Let us know here in the comments if you have any trouble downloading the MP3s.

    -Paul H.

  8. Roger
    March 4th, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    Thanks Paul!

    I right clicked on the download mp3 link and selected “save link as” and it plays no problem in my G-DEC amp.

    Looking forward to continuing the lessons so I can hear it other than on a laptop.


  9. koollucian2012
    March 6th, 2013 @ 4:39 am

    Got the download working now. The “Save Link As” was not working before. Many thanks.

  10. Livian L.
    March 25th, 2015 @ 11:03 pm

    I’m not a guitarist per se, but I was just looking for something to read when I stumbled upon this page.
    I’m the keyboardist of my band, and do rhythm guitar every once a while, when needed.
    This article helped me work on my keyboard and piano solos.
    Thanks David, really great work.

  11. A.F.M.Tanvir Nabi
    September 3rd, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    It is well said that chord progression is important. It also needs to follow the notation. I listened the way of chord progression. It is really excellent. Natural way of playing should be preferred rather than copying. Look how you feel comfortable then go for playing.

  12. Akinpaul
    October 28th, 2015 @ 2:52 am

    This is amazing, very easy to digest.

  13. Lowell
    January 4th, 2016 @ 1:29 pm

    Thanks David. Very helpful. I’ve been putting off scales for 9 years, and this is just what I needed.

  14. A-man
    August 21st, 2016 @ 11:07 pm

    After years of guitar playing, I’ve devoted countless hours to learning a lot (like really a lot, more than just a few 4 note chords, some fundamentals behind how scales fit into them, and the theory behind basic modulation) and in the end I found myself giving in to the Pop and sticking to the pentagon if because I could never understand how my idols managed to intentionally apply any of the concepts I devoted so much time to read about.

    I guess some musicians with more natural musical inclination were able to pick up on the types of things you point out in this article as though they were obvious consequences of key ideas in musical theory. Unfortunately they were lost on me, and after being exposed to just a page of your insight on the first scale taught in a first-year music course, everything clicked and I feel like I’ve finally been allowed in on the secret I was missing that all these great players seemed to know. Thank you so much. I can’t express how frustrating it is – being unable to figure out why everything I try to add to my playing only seems to work when ‘they’ do it.

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