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Musician | Artist | Content  Creator 


Lee John Blackmore, also known as LJ, is a prominent British musician, guitarist, singer, and renowned YouTuber. With an impressive online presence boasting over 60 million views and a substantial subscriber base exceeding 400 thousand, LJ has made a significant mark in the digital realm. While his YouTube channel has garnered substantial attention, LJ's musical journey traces back to the 2000s, fueled by a lifelong passion for music.

LJ's creative wellspring draws from a diverse range of musical inspirations, ranging from legendary figures to contemporary artists. While he acknowledges and pays homage to these influences, LJ stands apart by forging a distinct musical identity that blends elements of his unique artistic sensibilities.

Beyond his roles as a performer and YouTube content creator, LJ is a versatile artist who also delves into music composition. His compositions have found their way into popular TV shows worldwide, underscoring the universal appeal and adaptability of his musical creations. LJ's creative prowess extends beyond music, with a portfolio of published works as a painter and photographer, showcasing his multifaceted talents across diverse mediums.

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Hello Guitar Enthusiasts,

Welcome to the November 2023 edition of my newsletter! I'm delighted to have you here as we embark on a journey to enhance our understanding of the major modes. Knowledge of modes is a powerful tool that can take your guitar playing to new heights.

Unlocking the Power of Major Modes

Major modes are a set of scales derived from the major scale, each with its own unique sound and character. Understanding and using major modes effectively can significantly expand your musical palette. In this month's newsletter, we'll explore major modes and provide some guidance on how to integrate them into your playing. Here are the major modes you should get familiar with:

1. Ionian Mode (Major Scale):

The Ionian mode is the standard major scale. It has a bright, happy sound and is often used in pop, rock, and classical music. To play the Ionian mode, start from the first note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

2. Dorian Mode:

The Dorian mode has a jazzier and bluesier flavour. It's often used in jazz and rock music. To play the Dorian mode, start from the second note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

3. Phrygian Mode:

The Phrygian mode has a distinct Spanish or Middle Eastern feel due to its flattened second note. It's used in various styles, including metal and flamenco. To play the Phrygian mode, start from the third note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

4. Lydian Mode:

The Lydian mode has a dreamy and ethereal quality due to its augmented fourth note. It's used in fusion and progressive rock. To play the Lydian mode, start from the fourth note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

5. Mixolydian Mode:

The Mixolydian mode is known for its bluesy sound and is frequently used in blues and rock. To play the Mixolydian mode, start from the fifth note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

6. Aeolian Mode (Natural Minor Scale):

The Aeolian mode is the natural minor scale, often used in a wide range of genres, including classical, rock, and metal. To play the Aeolian mode, start from the sixth note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

7. Locrian Mode:

The Locrian mode is the darkest and least commonly used major mode. It's often used in experimental and avant-garde music. To play the Locrian mode, start from the seventh note of the major scale and continue through the octave.

How to Integrate Major Modes into Your Playing

  • Learn the Patterns: Familiarise yourself with the scale patterns for each major mode. Practice these patterns up and down the fretboard to build muscle memory.

  • Jam Over Backing Tracks: Use backing tracks in different modes to practice soloing and improvising. This will help you hear the unique characteristics of each mode.

  • Analyse Songs: Study songs that use major modes. Identify which modes are used in various sections of the song and how they contribute to the music's mood.

  • Experiment with Chord Progressions: Create your own chord progressions that highlight the qualities of specific modes. This will help you understand their practical application.

  • Take Lessons: Consider taking lessons or online courses that focus on major modes. A structured learning approach can accelerate your understanding.

Understanding major modes can add depth and versatility to your guitar playing. Experiment, have fun, and let the modes inspire your creativity. Stay tuned for more insights and tips on mastering the guitar.

Stay Connected

Connect with me on social media for weekly guitar inspiration, sneak peeks of upcoming lessons, and surprise giveaways. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at

Wishing you an inspired and musically fulfilling October!


Best regards,



Hello Guitar Enthusiasts,

Welcome to the October 2023 edition of my newsletter! It's a pleasure to have you here as we navigate the fascinating world of guitar playing and tackle a common challenge that many of us face: getting stuck in a creative rut.

Stuck in a Rut? Here's How to Break Free

We've all been there. Those moments when inspiration seems elusive, and our guitar playing feels stagnant. It's a common challenge that even the most seasoned musicians face from time to time. The good news is that there are strategies to help you break free from the creative rut and reignite your passion for playing. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Change Your Routine:

Sometimes, the familiarity of our practice routine can lead to stagnation. Try mixing things up by altering your practice schedule. Explore new scales, chords, or techniques. Shifting your routine can spark fresh ideas.

2. Learn a New Genre:

Exploring a different genre of music can provide a new perspective and introduce you to fresh ideas. If you're primarily a rock player, try learning some jazz chords or delve into classical guitar. The exposure to different styles can inspire your creativity.

3. Collaborate with Others:

Joining forces with fellow musicians or even jamming with friends can breathe life into your playing. Collaborations introduce you to diverse playing styles and approaches. It's a fantastic way to learn and grow as a musician.

4. Set Specific Goals:

Establish clear, achievable goals for your guitar playing. Whether it's mastering a new technique, learning a challenging song, or writing your own music, having specific objectives can provide motivation and direction.

5. Listen to New Music:

Expand your musical horizons by actively listening to music you haven't explored before. Pay attention to different instruments and arrangements. Inspiration can come from unexpected sources.

6. Record Your Playing:

Recording your guitar sessions allows you to assess your progress and identify areas that need improvement. Plus, it's an excellent way to track your creative journey and gain a fresh perspective.

7. Take a Break:

Sometimes, the best way to overcome a creative rut is to step away from the guitar for a short period. A brief hiatus can recharge your creativity and reignite your passion for playing


8. Seek Guidance:

Don't hesitate to seek guidance or lessons from experienced guitar instructors. They can provide valuable feedback, introduce new techniques, and help you navigate challenging periods.

9. Embrace Mistakes:

Remember that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Don't let fear of making errors hold you back. Embrace them, learn from them, and use them to fuel your growth.

10. Stay Inspired: Keep a journal of your musical journey, noting your achievements and aspirations. When you're feeling stuck, revisit your journal to remind yourself of how far you've come and where you want to go.

It's important to understand that creative ruts are a temporary phase in your musical journey.

By implementing these strategies and remaining patient, you can break free from stagnation and find renewed inspiration in your guitar playing.


Stay Connected

Connect with me on social media for weekly guitar inspiration, sneak peeks of upcoming lessons, and surprise giveaways. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at

Wishing you an inspired and musically fulfilling October!


Best regards,



Hello Fellow Guitar Enthusiasts,

Welcome to the September 2023 edition of my newsletter! I'm thrilled to have you here as we dive into another month of music, learning, and guitar adventures.


Finally I’ve gotten around to writing this newsletter but I just wanted to start by saying how much I appreciate your support and thank you for signing up to my VIP list. 


If you follow me on social media you may have realised I’ve been busy being a new dad and moving to another country (which is a lot more difficult than you might think). So, as you can imagine, I’ve not been able to dedicate as much time to creativity and teaching as I’ve wanted to.


I love receiving questions from you all, and as VIPs, you get the exclusive opportunity to ask anything! I often get questions about almost everything from the model of my guitar to the colour of my pants ! (Haha… I don’t wear pants), I’ll share some of your best questions and try to answer all of you.  Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter or on my YouTube Channel. 


Featured Lesson:  Top 10 Guitar Techniques To Improve Strumming


Improving your strumming technique on the guitar is crucial for rhythm and groove. Here are ten guitar strumming techniques and concepts to help you enhance your strumming skills:


  • Downstrokes:
    Begin with simple downstrokes, strumming all the strings in a downward motion. Focus on keeping a steady tempo and maintaining even pressure across the strings.


  • Upstrokes:
    Similarly, practice upstrokes where you strum from the lowest string to the highest. Like downstrokes, ensure a consistent tempo and pressure.


  • Down-Up Strumming:
    Combine downstrokes and upstrokes in a continuous motion. This is the foundation of many strumming patterns and rhythms.


  • Accenting:
    Experiment with accenting specific beats or strums to create dynamics in your playing. This involves strumming some strokes more forcefully than others.


  • Muted Strums:
    Use the side of your palm to lightly touch the strings while strumming to create muted or "chugging" sounds. This is often used in funk and rock music.


  • Palm Muting:
    Rest the palm of your hand lightly on the strings near the bridge while strumming to create a muted, percussive sound. This is common in many rock and metal rhythms.


  • Fingerstyle Strumming:
    Try using your fingers (thumb and fingers) instead of a pick for a softer, more delicate strumming style. This is often used in folk and acoustic fingerstyle guitar.


  • Strumming Patterns:
    Practice various strumming patterns, such as common patterns like the "down-down-up-up-down" pattern or more complex ones like syncopated strumming. Explore different styles and genres to learn their typical strumming patterns.


  • Syncopation:
    Experiment with syncopated strumming, where you emphasise off-beat or between-beat strums. This adds rhythmic complexity to your playing.


  • Strumming Dynamics:
    Vary your strumming dynamics by strumming softly and then gradually increasing the 
    Intensity. This helps convey emotion and energy in your playing.


To improve your strumming, it's essential to practice with a metronome to develop a strong sense of timing. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with each technique. Additionally, playing along with songs in different styles can help you apply these techniques and improve your overall strumming proficiency.



Community Spotlight: Your Success Stories


I absolutely love hearing about your progress and successes! Share your guitar journey with me, and inspire others on their musical path. You might be the motivation someone needs! You could be featured in my next newsletter. Just reply to this email with your story, photos, or videos.



 New T-Shirts


I have now closed my TeeSpring shop but don’t despair, I have another shop with TeeMill: 


I have put up a couple of new designs and have a few more to follow.  BUT! If You’re a designer or just fancy having a go, send me your designs!  I’m always interested in collaboration. I’ll pick my favourite’s and wear them in my videos and obviously I’ll send you your own custom Tee  


Why did I change shop? Well, we’re all trying to be a bit greener theses days and TeeMill are certainly making an effort: 

Sustainable Packaging, plants not plastic, no landfill, made to be remade. Here’s what they say “Creating a sustainable, circular supply chain for fashion starts with making products from natural materials like organic cotton, in factories powered by renewable energy. It also means creating products that are designed from the start to be sent back and remade into new ones once they’re worn out, keeping materials out of landfill and in the loop”.

Read more on their website here:

Free shipping for orders over £50 and keep an eye out for my FREE SHIPPING OFFERS AT THE END OF THE MONTH. Easy Returns 28 days to change your mind.



Discover New Music


In the spirit of music exploration, I always encourage everyone to discover new tunes. Whether it's a genre you've never explored or a hidden gem from your favourite artist, take some time to listen and broaden your musical horizons. Check out my latest Spotify playlist filled with hidden gems and tracks that have inspired me recently. Share your suggestions with me here or add me as a friend on Spotify. Let’s hear some playlists.



Stay Connected


Connect with me on social media for weekly guitar inspiration, sneak peeks of upcoming lessons, and surprise giveaways. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at


Best regards,






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