New York City-based guitarist/songwriter Sean Sullivan has an extremely mixed background in music. His style blends folk, rock, Latin, blues and more to create a distinctive musical melting pot. But of all of Sullivan's influences, it’s jazz that runs the deepest. Here, he takes a second to explain the role of a guitar player in a jazz band.
In this episode I go over a basic strumming pattern stressing the downs in the first measure and the ups in the second measure of each chord. This can help to create a powerful feel without being abrupt. The key is to be fluid in the right hand. Experiment with this concept using various chord progressions.
Certain memorable themes, like those of Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me” and Gustavo Santaolalla’s "Brokeback Mountain," to name just two, artfully derive melodies and chordal accompaniment from an extraordinarily useful system called scale harmony.
So, we've spent a few weeks talking about the left hand, the shape of the left hand, and how to organize your technique to take pressure off of your wrist and palm. But, how does this work in real time? In other words, is it possible to take this newly-organized shape and apply it to actual songs? One thing I see in my beginning to intermediate students–particularly in adults, who tend to be a bit more focused on the idea of 'success’–is the left hand's unconscious tendency to 'double-check' itself.
We recently had acoustic guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel stop by the Acoustic Nation studio. Luckily for you, we didn’t let him leave without passing on some valuable picking tips! Emmanuel has an uncanny ability for thumb and fingerstyle picking, and it’s our guess that hanging around Chet Atkins certainly helped too.
Let's talk about shapes! Also, let's take a look at my tiny hands. If you watch this video, you'll see that my hands are small. Like, really small. Smaller than they should be for someone my height, and definitely smaller than those of the average guitarist. This is ok!
In this exclusive lesson, Rodrigo y Gabriela sit down with Jimmy Brown to dissect a segment of their song, “The Soundmaker.” Fusing flamenco guitar styles with the intensity of rock and metal, “The Soundmaker” opens up the duo’s latest album, 9 Dead Alive. The record celebrates individuals who have passed away, but who still resonate in the 21st century through their deeds and words.
In today’s episode, I demonstrate a chord progression using mixed meters. I achieve this by simply switching time signatures each measure or two, depending on how you want to count it. I give the first three chords 3 beats each and the last chord 2 beats. This can be also thought of as 6/8 then 5/8.
If your hands are tired, crampy, sore, or moving too slowly, odds are that they're working too hard! I'll explain. When I was fifteen my French teacher unknowingly gave me a lifelong practice “assistant” when she volunteered to give Iyengar-style yoga classes once a week after school. I was instantly hooked.
It’s summer! Yahoo!!! Time for sitting on the porch and strumming a tune or two, or three, or ten! This is not a “best of” list, just a collection of great, easy to play songs that’ll put a smile on your face…and everyone’s around you, too! So grab an iced tea, sit back and get your strum on!