Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Blues Shuffle

Here is a post on the Blues shuffle. It is one of the most classic riffs in all of guitardom and I wanted to commit it to the blog. This "shuffle" is the early sound of rock guitar. This is the model in which blues guitarists still make their music and with which rock guitarists build their style. (image 1)

The A minor pentatonic scale is one of the most common scale patterns used by guitarists to build solos and write classic riffs for songs. (image 2)

To finish off your blues you might want to use this classic lick that has been passed down through the decades... (image 3)

The blues shuffle pattern at the top of the post (image 1) is the backbone. That is your foundation. On top of that you can play a solo using the pentatonic scale (image 2) and incorporate your classic blues lick (image 3).

Friday, April 29, 2016

Can You Identify the Parts Of the Guitar?

You will each receive a diagram of the acoustic guitar. Based on conversations in class, observation and general guitar knowledge, please try to identify the following guitar parts by drawing arrows from the term to the position on the guitar.
  • Neck
  • Headstock
  • Saddle
  • Pick guard
  • Fret
  • Soundhole
  • Bridge
  • Rosette
  • Capstan
  • Position Marker
  • Body
  • Nut
  • Tuners
  • Bridge Pins

Monday, April 25, 2016

Post for Prince

Prince passed away recently and I thought I would take some time to talk about his impact as a guitar player (considering this is a guitar class).
He was often overlooked for his guitar playing because of his showmanship and flashy image.
This clip form the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony celebrating George Harrison of the Beatles gives you a glimpse at his virtuosity and power as a player.

The great guitarist Eric Clapton was once asked, "What's it like to be the best guitarist in the world?" To which he is reported to have replied, "I don't know, you should go ask Prince." He was so well respected and revered by legions of guitar players. I urge you to go seek out his music (which can be difficult because his music is not streamed.)

In class we combined work on bar chords with his 80's anthem "Purple Rain." I apologize for the shoddy notation, I wanted to get this up and out as quickly as possible. Out of respect, I will probably update this post with a short tutorial video and cleaned up notation.

You can use simple downstrokes to play this song (each slash represents a downstroke). Or you can use the rock ballad strum (which we will detail in a future class).

The shapes are tricky for the beginning guitarist, but the good news is that thought there are only 3 different shapes. Watch that you are putting the chords in the proper fret!

Friday, April 1, 2016

E Minor Pentatonic Stuff

Oh Yes Indeedy! The E minor Pentatonic is just what the doctor ordered for getting your jam on! This scale and pattern is a staple for guitarists of all styles. We have begun to explore the shape in class along with the techniques of hammering-on and pulling-off to go up down the scale.

As we play through this scale, you are going to want to hear it in action. For that reason, I am including a monster rock ballad backing track that will serve nicely for our jamming purposes.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Duet Song

We are going to split the class into small "bands" for the purpose of playing a short duet song. Each member of the group must learn both the chords and the single note melody of the the song. We will perform the song at the end of class with each group member alternating between chords and melody.

If you need to review the notes...

Notes on the 1st string

Notes on the 2nd string

Quarter 3 Self-Evaluation

As we near the end of Quarter 3 it is important to reflect on your progress. Please complete and submit this Self-reflection survey with your thoughts on your progress to this date.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Travis Picking Examples

In class we have been working through the Travis picking technique. It is a slow process to become comfortable with this common and useful guitar technique. I wanted to share some examples of songs that use this pattern. These might help you stay on course for mastering the technique.

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

Dust in the Wind (example) by Kansas

Both examples have minimal chord movement and I have simplified some aspects of the chord progressions to make it easier to focus on the Travis Picking.

Good Luck!