In this week’s example, I demonstrate a pattern aimed at creating space. Sometimes less is more, and by creating a gap between chord changes, a more dramatic effect can be achieved. Feel free to experiment with this simple idea to really change up what may otherwise be too straight ahead.
Yes, it’s true. We all need some help making technique adjustments. Here I sit down with master instructor Lily Maase as we talk about pick technique and then dig into a little picking and strumming pattern.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
As songwriters, we think of tempo as the most basic of basics. Tempo, or the speed at which we perform a song, is sort of the quiet engine, the driving force behind all our tunes; yet, because we consider it so "Songwriting 101," tempo can sometimes become songcraft’s sadly neglected middle child.
Here's a really cool lesson from acoustic master Mike Dawes. In it he teaches a technique for fretting and plucking a harmonic note all with the right hand. As he says, this leaves your left hand free to do other things. What those are is up to you!
When I was studying music, one thing I remember my professors kept driving home was that you don't just stop when you see a "rest" in music notation. You play silence. Silence acts as a frame around the sounds you're producing and helps make those sounds feel more profound. Think about what a picture frame does for a photograph.
The full-chord strum is only one way to skin the rhythm cat. A subtler but no less effective approach is playing broken chords, which involves successively picking the individual notes of a chord in a following pattern. An arpeggiated, or “broken,” chord simultaneously outlines the harmony, meter and rhythm.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the February 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
I grew up listening to James Taylor, and I admit I know pretty much every word of every song he’s ever performed. But when it comes to the guitar parts, that’s something I’ve still gotta work on. Luckily the legendary Mr. Taylor has taken steps to remedy that. He’s posted a series of free lessons on his site that not only run through some of his most beloved songs, they also incorporate new portable camera technology so that you can see his right hand technique from the inside.
I had the privilege of sitting down with John Butler recently as he went through the fingering and technique for his new song “Spring to Come” off the upcoming album Flesh and Blood. Check it out and Play It Now!