In this segment of our exclusive Acoustic Nation Play It Now video series, hit singer songwriter Matt Nathanson teaches me, and YOU, how to play his latest single, “Mission Bells.” The track appears on his new album, The Last of the Great Pretenders. Nathanson, and his guitar player Aaron Tap, run through the riff, verse and chorus arrangements for what is basically a fun to play three-chord song.
Alright, you’re about to get schooled by Eric Johnson (again). While it’s typical to see Johnson deliver his signature smooth and soaring electric lead playing, here we see him with an acoustic in hand. And, no surprise, his delivery in “Tribute to Jerry Reed” is drool-worthy. Plus he’s got amazing hair!
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.
We recently had acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel drop by the Acoustic Nation studio. In addition to an exclusive interview and lesson, he also treated us to a personal performance of his track, “Hope Street.” Inspired by the unlikely combination of George Harrison and Keb’ Mo’, the tune implements Emmanuel’s trademark picking style along with some genius melodic work.
Cifras, a Brazil-based guitar-centric website, posted this brief video to its Facebook page earlier this month. It shows a 10-year-old blind boy, Felix St. Hilare of Quebec, Canada, performing a bit of Robert Johnson-style Delta blues on acoustic guitar, which he plays flat on his lap, much like the late Jeff Healey.
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.
I know what you’re thinking. Slipknot and “acoustic” just don’t go together. But the band, Listopad, disagrees. And you will be glad you do when you check out their acoustic video of Slipknot’s “Before I Forget.” This super cool unplugged take is loaded with energy and angst.
Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, a collaborative album project from Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) and producer T Bone Burnett, will be released November 11 on Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records.