Here's where you can hear Throttle Twister, Barrett's latest CD.

Barrett's Bio

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Barrett Tagliarino started playing guitar at age 9. He studied privately with Tony Bowles, who now tours with Hank Williams, Jr. Barrett attended Indiana University, and then made the move to Los Angeles in 1984.

Barrett has two CDs of intense guitar music in various styles: Throttle Twister (2009) and Moe's Art (1998), both available via iTunes and

Barrett has appeared on every stage in Los Angeles from the Whisky-a-Go-Go to the Viper Room. He's recorded commercial projects for ARCO, Sony, Miller Lite, the Food Channel and MTV.

Barrett has written six instructional books including Rhythmic Lead Guitar, Guitar Reading Workbook (Behemoth Publishers), Guitar Fretboard Workbook, Chord Tone Soloing, and Music Theory: A Practical Guide for All Musicians (Hal Leonard). Classic Rock Guitar Soloing is his DVD, also available from the Hal Leonard Corporation. He has also published instructional articles in Guitar Edge, Guitar Player and Guitar One mags.

Barrett served as Rock Department Head at Hohner Musikschule in Vienna, Austria, in 1994, and has been a full-time instructor at Musicians Institute in Hollywood since 1989.

Barrett uses and endorses Suhr guitars, D'Addario strings, and Kaliphoria amplification.

About My Teaching Methods

In every book, I give you exercises designed to reinforce and test your knowledge of the ideas just covered.

Sometimes I'll tell you it is OK to move on while still working on the previous material. In many cases, however, correctly completing the exercises is the only way of getting to the next level. Without mastering the previous section, the next one is impossible.

To get this cumulative mastery, the exercises force you to study the material from different perspectives. For example, we can learn...

  • Aurally: We transfer sounds we hear into ideas we can describe or write. We hear the notes on the page as sounds in our heads before we actually play them.

  • Visually: We mentally picture how the notes we hear would look on the page, and how our fingers would look when playing them. We fill in diagrams of fretboard shapes from memory.

  • Verbally: We describe aloud what musical concepts the notation represents. We sing the notes.

  • Physically: We drill the finger motions that correspond to the notation, and we physically write notation for music we hear or compose.

  • Logically: We identify the basic music theory behind the notes. Are they in a major key? Minor? Do these notes form a scale or chord that we know?

    Some of the above approaches will likely appeal to you more than others, and will present the easiest method for initially arriving at an understanding of new material, but all are important. By noticing which you favor and which you neglect, you can compensate to assure you really learn your lesson.

    For example, I occasionally get a student who asks a lot of questions and thinks about music constantly, but doesn’t drill the movements enough to execute what he understands. This student knows what he is playing, but may not be able to play it with confidence.

    Others might practice constantly but refuse to write anything down or give the name of the scale or chord they are playing. This inhibits their ability to compose parts for other musicians or to communicate in a rehearsal.

    The exercises are meant to test your knowledge and get you thinking; visualizing and verbalizing as well as playing the new material. I understand that sometimes it seems hard, but the idea is to make sure you GET IT.

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