Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Partial Chords- Reggae- 3 Little Birds- Somewhere Over the Rainbow

We are starting to explore how to play in various musical styles by changing the way we play strumming patterns and chord shapes. In addition, Reggae will introduce the idea of muting with your fretting hand as opposed to the strumming hand mute we have been playing.

When starting to play Reggae it is important to look at different chord shapes that move the sound a bit higher on the neck of the guitar. When we use partial chords it allows us to mute with the left hand (see video) and not have all the jangly open strings. Because Reggae is a staccato style (meaning the rhythms are shorter and detached) we need to be able to control the length of the sound

Below you will see sample chord voicings that move your basic open chords higher up on the neck. It is important when you play these chords to avoid hitting the open strings.

3 Little Birds Audio File

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Using Upper Position Chord Shapes

G                  D                         C           G
Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
C             G                            D                      Em     C

there's a land that i heard of once in a lulla--by
G                  D                            C             G

Somewhere over thew rainbow skies are blue
C            G                                  D                                  Em        C

and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true
           G                                            D                                              Em           C
Some day i'll wish upon a star and wake where the clouds are far behind me
             G                                               D                                                     Em 

Where troubles melt like lemon drops away upon the chimney tops thats where

you'll find me
G                  D                          C               G

Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly
C              G                            D                                G  

Birds fly over the rain--bow why then oh why can't I
{{{pause with birds chirping}}}

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cool licks and riffs for guitar

Let's apply some of our technique and knowledge to some famous (and not so famous but no less important) licks and riffs for guitar. I will compile ideas in this blog post.

Opening of Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
(Good use of Travis Picking)

The Opening of Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Hey There Delilah
A good example of breaking up the chord as a musical idea

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Guitar Technique: String Bending

A common guitar technique and something that is a unique opportunity for string players is the idea of bending. Other instruments have methods for bending the sound of the notes, but guitar players have the ability to grab that neck and work out some aggression on those little metal strings.

In class we have talked about bending for use in vibrato (a subtle shifting of the note up and down), and traditional bending to get from one note to another without crossing frets.

In class I may have played the opening lick to Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight.
This song is a classic example of the use of bends to move from one note to another in an expressive way. This song will also make you a hit at any Proms you might want to attend.

I will demonstrate this lick in class and you can use the notation and tab (with suggested fingerings) as a guide.

Lick played over opening chords
G   D   C   D   G   D   C   D

G                   D
   It's late in the evening
C                         D
   She's wondering what clothes to wear
G                  D
   She puts on her make up
C                   D
   And brushes her long blonde hair
C               D
   And then she asks me
G       D      Em
   Do I look alright
              C             D           G (Lick) D   C  D
   And I say yes, you look wonderful tonight

G           D
   We go a party
C                D
   And everyone turns to see
G                 D
   This beautiful lady
C                   D
   That's walking around with me
C               D
   And then she asks me
G         D     Em
   Do you feel alright
              C           D           G
   And I say yes, I feel wonderful tonight

   I feel wonderful
      D               G         D       Em
   Because I see the love light in your eyes
            C           D
   And the wonder of it all
                C             D
   Is that you just don't realize
               G  (Lick)   D  C  D  G  D  C  D
   How much I love you

G                   D
   It's time to go home now
C                          D
   And I've got an aching head
G                     D
   So I give her the car keys
C                   D
   She helps me to bed
C              D
   And then I tell her
G       D            Em
   As I turn out the light
             C                 D           G     D   Em 
   I say my darling, you were wonderful tonight
          C                 D           G (Lick)   D   C  D  G  D   C  D  G
   Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcome Back! Ode to Joy!

What better way to express the joy of returning to school, than with one of the greatest melodies ever written to demonstrate that feeling.
One of the most recognizable melodies in all of music, Ode to Joy is the theme of the 4th movement of Beethoven's triumphant 9th symphony. While not originally played on the guitar, it adapts well as a device to help us with the notes on the first 2 strings.
Review Notes on the 1st string
Review notes on the 2nd string

You will notice that with the melody, I have included some chords along the top of each line. These chords can be played as an accompaniment to the melody. A few of the chords I have labeled as *alternate chords, this means that these chords sound nice but are not essential. You can stay on the C chord during these chords and it will work out just fine.

This piece also introduces eighth notes in the melody. If we use the quarter note as our beat, the eighth note gets half of a beat. In foot tapping that means the notes happen when we tap AND lift our foot. At slower tempos, you should play these all as downstrokes.

Our objective is to play this in duets, small groups and as a class.