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Eric Johnson is giving guitar lessons to support food banks during COVID-19 pandemic

“Hey, it’s Eric here. Welcome to my series of EJ Mini Lessons.”

That statement alone from Eric Johnson is music to our ears here at Guitar World.

And true to his word, the electric guitar player has launched a series of lesson videos to help support local food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this debut lesson, Johnson covers “using different strings to play different notes in combination with utilizing open strings,” he says.

Johnson then demonstrates the technique, employing that inimitable EJ tone and touch.

“Any time I can get away with an open string it affords me a couple of things,” he continues. “It keeps the glissando of the lick going and it gives you a chance to get to another part of the fretboard.

“And it also is a cool sound.”

A second point Johnson makes is to demonstrate how “you can also put the notes on different strings, which gives it a different tone.

“So a lot of times I’ll skip around on where I play on what string for the sound. So the combination of those open notes with changing the string, it gives you a totally different freedom to create the voicing you want and utilize your hand position.”

As Johnson writes in the caption accompanying the video, “If you enjoyed it please consider donating to your local food bank. Any amount will help someone less fortunate.

“If you are in the USA you can make a donation at Feeding America (opens in new tab).

“Worldwide, you can donate to Action Against Hunger (opens in new tab).

“Thank you for your support.”

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.