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Showing posts from January, 2011

Lesson Six - Scarborough Fair

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We are taking the "campfire" approach to playing Scarborough Fair.  All we need are chords and a strumming pattern and we can make music.  Keep in mind the following when practicing this song:


This song is in 3/4 time.  Use a 3/4 strumming pattern.Keep it simple at first.  Try strumming once in every measure.  This will give you plenty of time to get to the next chord.  When you can do this, try strumming on all three beats, and then try a 3/4 strumming pattern.I know its difficult, but don't stop your strumming hand even if you don't like the sound of your chords.  Train yourself to get all the way through the song.Watch the video below for a demonstration of the 3/4 strumming pattern.The second video is a demonstration of the entire song using the 3/4 strumming pattern.


Lesson Thirteen - Andantino

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This is an excerpt from a Classical piece by Matteo Carcassi:  Practice with the following in mind:


Play all the bass strings (6, 5 and 4) with your thumb ("p").Play strings 3, 2 and 1 with fingers "i", "m" and "a".Don't forget, the numbers in the tab are frets (not fingers). The complete song shows up in the back of the book in the "Additional Music" section.  Be sure to follow use the correct right hand fingers for the second line.  The fingerings are given in the music.

Lesson Six - Strumming Chords

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This Lesson is about putting a cool strumming pattern behind your chord.  Call it a "groove."  You will also work on what I like to call the "Campfire" approach to playing songs.  Keep the following in mind when working through this Lesson:

Six strumming patterns are given at the beginning of this lesson (three 4/4 patterns and three 3/4 patterns).  They are all good, but the best ones are the third and fifth patterns.  I call them the "all purpose 4/4 strum" and the "all purpose 3/4 strum.""All Purpose" Four - Four Strumming Pattern
"All-Purpose" Three - Four Strumming Pattern

Lesson Five - Understanding Rhythm

Please read through this lesson.  This lesson is more about music than it is about the guitar.  This lesson could be a chapter in any music book for any instrument.  Here are the main things I would like for you to get out of this Lesson:


Be able to identify in music a whole note, half note, quarter note, and eighth note (and the corresponding rests).Know what the top and bottom number of a time signature stand for.Know the value of a whole note, half note, quarter note, and eighth note in 4/4 time and 3/4 time.Try the rhythm exercises given at the end of the Lesson using the chord of your choice.

Lesson Ten - Ode to Joy

Keep the following in mind when practicing "Ode to Joy":


This piece works great in the open, third, and fifth positions.Learn it in the open position first and then try the other positions.Melody is everything!  If you can play all the notes in the right order, great!  However, what did it sound like?  Be sure to play legato (smooth).  Try to move smoothly from one note to the next.

Lesson Four - Chords

Keep the following in mind when working through Lesson Four:


Memorize each chord.  Know it by name and know how to hold it.Check to make sure each of the notes of the chord work.Play on the very tips of your fingers. Do not extend your fingers.  Instead, bend each joint.Use the proper finger!When switching chords, be sure to strum the chord on the beat that it shows up.  Even if you don't have it completely down, strum it anyways!  You're not just working on holding chords, you're working on rhythm too.

Lesson Three - Tuning the Guitar

I highly recommend purchasing an electronic tuner (especially one that includes a metronome).  You should use your tuner as a training tool to improve your tuning skills.

How often should you tune your guitar?  Every time you pick it up!

Be sure to memorize the note names for each open string on the guitar.  From the six string it goes like this: E A D G B E.  Maybe this will help, "Eat At Denny's Get Big Eggs."

Try the six-step tuning method that is given in this lesson and then check your tuning with your electronic tuner.  How did you do?

Lesson Two - "Groovin' Blues"

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Performance Notes:

This song is written in TablatureThe top line is the bottom string.  Numbers are frets (not fingers).I suggest you use your first finger to play all the notes at the second fret.  Play frets three and four with your second and third fingers respectively.Each note should ring for the same length of time.  I highly recommend you use a metronome and set it at a low speed (try 50 bpm).  Play one note for every click of your metronome.Memorize the first 8 notes and learn to play them before moving on.The first 8 notes of the third line will require extra practice.Watch the video below for a demonstration of the "Groovin' Blues".