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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nobody Knows INTRO - The Lumineers

Here's the intro to "Nobody Knows" by The Lumineers.  Here are few tips that might help you learn this great intro.
  1. You can't see it in the video, but I have my capo at the 2nd fret.
  2. I start with a slide on the third string, second fret, with my second finger. Slide to the fourth fret.
  3. I am using my thumb on strings 3, 4, 5 and 6.  My index is playing strings 1 and 2.
Happy to answer any questions, just post your comments and questions. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Save Me San Francisco by Train - Intro and Strumming Pattern

The intro to Save Me San Francisco is sort of a shuffle groove with an old time rock-n-roll feel.  Here are a few playing tips.

  • Start with a D chord, and strum D to Dsus to D back to Dsus.  You can play this with all downstrokes, but it doesn't really matter.
  • The next chord is the power chord version of a G.  First finger string 6 on the third fret.  Third finger string five on the fifth fret.  Get ready to stretch, though.  You will need to reach your pinky over to fret seven of string five.  I play with only down strokes.
  • Next chord is an A power chord.  Fifth string is open and first finger on fourth string second fret.  Continue with the shuffle groove by reaching to fret four on the fourth string.  I use my third finger
  • Finish up by returning to the D and Dsus chords.

Strumming Pattern

I like to use a basic "campfire" style strum for the rest of the song.  My pattern goes like this:

D      D      D   U   Hit  U  

D= Down stroke
U= Up Stroke

Notice that the G, A, and final D chords are played on upstrokes.  I like to do a "hit" strum before switching chords.  This allows me to do a downward strumming motion on beat four, and I get to let go of the chord I am holding so that I can set up the new chord and strum it as my hand is going up after the hit.  I also like the percussive sound of the "hit."

Note:  You can play the intro groove through the verses if you like, and do the campfire strums for the  choruses.  Up to you.  Have fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mantra Naya

Here is a great finger style Bollywood song.  Keep the following in mind as you practice this song:

1.  Place a capo on fret two.
2.  The intro and first four measures of the verse are on a D chord.  Notice that there is a hammer-on and pull-off on the first string.  Pluck the first string open, then hammer your second finger on the second fret followed by a pull-off.   You will also want to make sure that your third finger is not interfering with the first string, keep it out of the way.
3.  I am playing all the bass notes (strings 4, 5 and 6) with my thumb.  String one is played with the ring finger (a), string two with the middle finger (m), and string three with the index finger (i).
4.  Listen closely to the rhythm, it swings!

Feel free to post questions or comments.

Friday, October 14, 2016

He's a Pirate

This song is from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean."  Below is a video of just the main theme.  I am playing it slowly so that you can pick up on the rhythm and perhaps you will play along.  I am playing the melody in the fifth position.  This means, my first finger is at the fifth fret, second at the sixth fret, and so on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I really love this classical guitar piece by Napoleon Coste.  A barcarolle is a folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chicago Blues

This piece is found in the additional music section in the guitar method book, "I've Always Wanted
To Play Guitar."

  • This first line is the intro.
  • Lines 2, 3 and 4 make up what is called a 12 bar blues (12 measure blues).  This section would normally be repeated throughout an entire blues song.
  • At the end of the video there is a variation to the intro.  This will be given as a handout in class.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Neele Neele Ambar Par - Bollywood

The intro to this song is so cool!  Be sure to tune your sixth string down to D.  The opening riff starts with a slide down from the 12th fret.  From there it's some pretty fast sixteenth notes.