Free 'Secrets of Great Acoustic Songwriters' Lesson at the Guitar World Lessons Store — Video

Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters, an impressive compilation of nine instructional video lessons and tabs by Dale Turner, is now available through the Guitar World Lessons App and Webstore.

It joins the ranks of the hundreds of lessons already available through Guitar World Lessons.

To celebrate this new release, Guitar World is offering the first Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters lesson, "The Sound of Simon," as a FREE download! Note that all nine Secrets of the Great Acoustic Songwriters lessons are available—as a package—for only $14.99.

Below, you can watch the trailer for lesson 4 ("Happiness Is Some Fingerpicking Fun: John Lennon").

This new collection, which was produced by Musicians Institute instructor Dale Turner for his Guitar World magazine column, "Hole Notes," offers a gold mine of analysis of the signature playing and songwriting styles of some of the most legendary names in acoustic folk, pop and rock guitar: Paul Simon, John Lennon (see the video below), George Harrison, Elliot Smith, John Frusciante, Jeff Buckley, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Nick Drake and Ani DiFranco.

Each chapter focuses on a particular artist and features several musical examples inspired by his or her most celebrated songs. Techniques covered include fingerpicking and more:

Chapter 1: The Sound of Simon This chapter looks at Paul Simon’s signature playing and songwriting elements, such as the use of alternating bass figures, Travis picking, chord arpeggiation and double-stops with hammer-ons and pull-offs. Check out the trailer below.

Chapter 2: Mr. Melancholy This lessons looks at Elliot Smith’s distinctive playing and writing style and use of techniques such as fingerpicking, Travis picking, alternating bass figures and finger strumming.

Chapter 3: The Funky Monk Unplugged This lesson looks at the acoustic side of John Frusciante’s playing and writing style with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Chapter 4: Happiness Is Some Fingerpicking Fun This chapter looks at John Lennon’s go-to acoustic playing and songwriting techniques and approaches, such as his use of fingerpicking, Travis picking with alternating bass figures, chord-melody-style strumming and double-stops.

Chapter 5: Dream Brother This lesson looks at Jeff Buckley’s unique stylistic traits on the acoustic guitar, such as his use of open strings in conjunction with notes fretted high up on the neck, strumming in 6/8 meter, unusual and sophisticated chord voicings and shapes and his use of open G tuning.

Chapter 6: Brazil Nut This chapter explores the signature “crossover” jazz/bossa nova-style rhythms and sophisticated chord voicings and progressions employed by the legendary Brazilian guitarist-composer Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Chapter 7: Pink Moon Rising This lesson explores the unique, original acoustic guitar style of British folk artist Nick Drake and his use of fingerpicking technique, thumb strumming, capo'ing and unusual open tunings.

Chapter 8: Something In the Way He Grooves This chapter looks at the signature elements of George Harrison’s acoustic guitar style, with an exploration of his acoustic demo versions of such Beatles classics as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something.”

Chapter 9: Righteous Babe This final chapter explores Ani DiFranco’s trademark aggressive fingerstyle guitar playing and songwriting, on such songs as “As Is,” “32 Flavors,” “If He Tries Anything” and “Sorry I Am.”

For more information, visit the Guitar World Lessons Webstore and download the App now.

Besides teaching at Musicians Institute, Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in studio/jazz guitar performance from the University of Southern California. He composed, arranged, produced and recorded all the music on his latest CD, Mannerisms Magnified, and sang and played all the instruments, including guitar, bass, acoustic drums, piano, accordion and mandolin. He's the author of more than 50 instructional books, including Power Plucking—A Rocker's Guide to Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.