One simple technique that is often used to spice up many chords – and in the process make a lot of garden-variety chord progressions sound more interesting – is the manner-on. To play a hammer-on, pick a string and then, while the note is still ringing, sound a higher note on that same string by firmly tapping, or “hammering,” it onto the fretboard with one of your fretting fingers without picking it again.
Here’s a great Video Find for you Foo Fighters fans. It’s Dave Grohl and Co. performing “Everlong” acoustically back in 1999. The clip opens up with Grohl picking The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” as he attempts to get drummer Taylor Hawkins to sing Paul McCartney’s vocals. The band then kicks in to an emotional performance of “Everlong,” a track that appears of the second Foo Fighters LP, 1997’s The Colour and the Shape.
Who doesn’t like a power ballad, that soft underbelly of a hard rocker, rarely seen in the light of day? You’ve probably heard the story…the power ballad is often the biggest hit for heavier bands, opening their music up to the love-song loving masses.
Believe it or not, Pantera’s “The Art of Shredding” translates awesomely to acoustic in the hands of the masterful percussive player, Sam Westphalen. Here he is in the studio at the Australian Institute of Music laying it down.
Here’s the duo of Orianthi and Richie Sambora performing an acoustic rendition of the Bon Jovi classic, “Livin’ on a Prayer.” The acoustic guitars give the song a laid back vibe, while Orianthi and Sambora trade lead vocals. The two also deliver some fine acoustic lead work. “Livin’ on a Prayer” was the second single from Bon Jovi’s 1986 album, Slippery When Wet. The single became the band’s second consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit.
Here’s some quirky fun from New York’s Emilyn Brodsky. It’s “Scaffolding” from her new album Emilyn Brodsky Eats Her Feelings, which releases tomorrow, September 23, 2014. This rhythmic tune showcases her introspective lyrics and starkly croonalicious vocals.
In this week’s episode of Sunday Strum, I demonstrate an example using eighth note triplets. This is a basic way of practicing them, but if you are more comfortable with the rhythm, feel free to switch it up and apply triplets any way you like. The eighth note triplet rhythm translates to three eighth notes in the space of two eighth notes.
Here’s a great track and video from South Africa’s Jeremy Loops. It’s “Sinner” from his upcoming album Trading Change, due out January 1, 2015. It’s a sad song of loss with a hopeful ending (I won’t spoil it for you).
We’ve teamed up with Venice Beach, CA-based songwriter Joe Con to premiere his track “Said and Done.” Centered around Con’s laid-back, poetic croon, the track manages to seamlessly blend folk, pop and hip hop. While hooky and melodic, the track has a dreamy, lullaby-like quality that seeps in more with each listen. "This song was written in Burlington, Vermont the fall before I moved to LA,” says Con.