Of the four Beatles, George Harrison brought to the group an assortment of electric and acoustic guitar approaches, flavors influenced by everyone from Chet Atkins and Carl Perkins to the Byrds and Bob Dylan.
In past lessons we’ve spruced up rhythm patterns by adding extra notes to chords, and by inserting bass lines and scale runs. This time around the subject is intervals, specifically thirds. Here we give you some practical examples of how to put thirds to work for you. In fact, thirds in particular are real workhorses, frequently used by guitarist, R&B, rock, country and blues.
Jerry Reed (1937–2008), known by many as Burt Reynolds’ truck-driving partner in crime in the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, was also a highly accomplished and influential guitar picker. Let’s look at some of the technical and stylistic elements that made Reed a great player.
What happens when you mix bluesy, Robert Johnson–style fingerpicking and tropical “Calypso” grooves, with repertoire consisting of spiritual hymns and sea shanties sung by a gruff-voiced, scat-singing, foot-stomping stonemason? You get the inimitable Joseph Spence (1910–1984)
We’ve teamed up with Harry Edwards of StudyGypsyJazz.com to bring you a wonderful introduction to playing gypsy jazz style guitar. Gypsy jazz guitar, otherwise known as “Jazz Manouche guitar,” is a style pioneered through the playing of the late Belgian-born guitarist and gypsy, Jean “Django” Reinhardt. The playing of Django Reinhardt has inspired an entire sub-genre of jazz, one that is unmistakable in its hard swinging rhythm guitar and passionate lead improvisations: gypsy jazz.
A lot of teachers will try to keep your business by giving you quick fixes or showing you songs and riffs before they show you how to hold the instrument so you can actually play. Many students come to me after they “hit a wall” – they feel like they aren't getting better, their hands or wrists hurt, their technique has stopped improving, or they don't know how to find their way around the fingerboard.
In today’s episode, I go through a basic phrase I’m calling “4 Measure Mix Up.” I’ve constructed this pattern to make something simple seem a little more complex without it actually being too difficult. By giving the Em and Cmaj7 chords in the second measure one beat each, it throws off the balance a little, but makes for a cool deviation.
A song containing a few as one or two chords can be just as well-crafted as a far more intricate composition. Of course, the world is full of guitarists who play a D-to-G strum pattern ad infinitum, rhyme “fire” with “desire” and declare that they’ve written a song. You goal as a songwriter is to not be that person.
As the interval between the fifth scale degree and the octave, the fourth is basic to the structure of most chords. When used melodically, however, fourths are not nearly as versatile as thirds and sixths. As you’ll see, though, fourths have found a home within, of all places, R&B, soul, and funk. Check out this lesson with audio and tab...