Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chord Embellishments

Today we discussed the notion of "addition by subtraction" by which we took some basic chords and simply changed (or removed) fingers to get dramatic results.

C became CMaj7
Am became Am7
G became GMja7

I am attaching a chord sheet for the classic John Lennon song Imagine

Here we get to make use of the chords listed above

Wabash Cannonball

In the "strike while the iron is hot" category, here is a bit of the classic country folk song Wabash Cannonball. I was recently at a clinic given by the amazing finger-style guitarist Doyle Dykes and this is one of his signature songs. This "arrangement" is based a bit more around the version I have heard Tommy Emmanuel play. Either way, have fun with the chord shapes and don't be afraid to experiment with your picking hand fingers. The most important thing to take away from this style and song is the constant bass line of the thumb. The photo shows the chord shapes from the example I play in the video.

Wabash Cannonball chord shapes (opening section)

Wabash Cannonball sample video (opening section)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Rock Ballad Strum and a couple of song examples

When a song has a slower tempo, more activity in your strumming pattern can give it lift and energy. The Rock Ballad Strum is a great strumming pattern for generating the requisite energy to turn a slower ballad into a rock classic. The attached example features 2 songs that can be enhanced by using the Rock Ballad Strum. Hey Jude by the Beatles and Drops of Jupiter by Train

Here is an example of the pattern. down-down-down-down,up,down,up,down-down-down

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guitar 1 video assignment

Student is guitar 1 will create a video demonstrating the Travis picking skills from the March 28th blog post. Students will demonstrate by playing the pattern from Dust is the Wind or Landslide.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chord Inversions

A great way to expand simple chord forms is the use of inversions. When you invert a chord you basically rearrange the notes around a changing bass note. If I was to write out the notes of an F chord, I would have F, A, C. If I invert those notes I would have A,C, F (First Inversion) or C, F, A (Second Inversion).

In class we played examples and shapes of inverted chords. It is important to tie the use of inverted chords to the long-term goal of neck-mapping. You can find so many different ways to play the same chord with inversion and neck-mapping.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Slow day in Guitar I

The author workshop for the seniors reduced our class to just 4 today. We made due by looking at the music of one Jason Mraz. His song,  I'm Yours uses 5 basic chords (G, D, Em, C, and A7) to great effectiveness. The link brings you to a simple lyric sheet with chords written above at the transition points. Take your time and have fun with the chords and the song.