Thursday, May 30, 2013

Opening lick to "The Claw"

Jerry Reed is woefully under appreciated as a guitarist and songwriter. A brilliant guitarist and songwriter, Mr. Reed has contributed some classic songs both as a vocalist and as a guitarist. Here is the opening lick to his iconic guitar tune entitled The Claw. We worked out this lick slowly in class. This video should help reinforce the sound and timing of the various components of the opening lick. Enjoy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The recipe(s) for chordal success

Guitarists are notorious for not knowing what the heck we are doing. "Just show me where to put my fingers and I'm good" seems to be the basic mantra of most guitarists. Independence, spontaneity, and creativity can be greatly enhanced when you understand the "recipes" for building chords (not just picking up your meals in the drive-thru everyday).

The numbers used for the following chords represent the scale degrees of the chord name.
For instance...

7 = 1,3,5,b7  ex.  C7 = C(1), E(3), G(5), Bb(b7)

C Major Scale C, D, E, F, G, A, B

So in order to get a proper 7th chord, the 7th degree of the scale (B) is flatted (Bb) according to our chord recipe.

Other chord recipes (Using C as the sample key)

C = 1,3,5
Cm = 1,b3,5
C7 = 1,3,5,b7
CMaj7 = 1,3,5,7
Cm7 = 1,b3,5,b7
Cm7b5 = 1,b3,b5,b7
Cdim7 = 1,b3,b5,bb7
CmMaj7 = 1,b3,5,7
C+ = 1,3,#5 (augmented)

So the question becomes, "What if I don't want one of these wonderful C-type chords?". That is where a functioning knowledge of the Circle of 5ths (key signatures) comes in handy.

Let's say you need to make a Bbm7b5 chord. First look at the notes in Bb. (The key of Bb has 2 flats)
Now plug this into our recipe for the prescribed chord 1,b3,b5,b7
You've got yourself your very own Bbm7b5 chord.

Throw in a little neck mapping and you can start to see how chords can be constructed and placed anywhere on the neck of the guitar.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Single Note Reading: Folk Song

The Fok Song on page 78 of your book uses notes on the first three strings of the guitar. In addition, you have to watch out for the F# note. A # (sharp) tells you to raise any note by one fret. In this case the F on the first fret of the 1st string would become F# on the second fret of the first string.

Your goal is to play the melody at the tempo Moderato which means a medium tempo.
I have included a backing track at a slow and medium tempo with which to practice the melody.


Accompaniment: SLOW

Accompaniment: MEDIUM

Friday, May 3, 2013

Student teachers

One of the best aspects of playing the guitar is the social, interactive manner in which we can learn and grow. Today in Guitar II class, the students (myself included) taught the teacher (myself included) ideas, riffs and licks that excite them about the guitar. I have included a video of my attempts to remember and play back the ideas they shared in class.