Performance Videos

Karma Police – Radiohead

Turn The Page – Bob Seger

Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton

It Don’t Mean A Thing – Duke Ellington

You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Bob Dylan

Load the playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PL647FF01FCF5B06A6

Well done to Paula, Dannae, Michael, Gunther, Brian, David and Glen!

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Au Revoir!

Complete Acoustic Guitarist Holiday - Class of 2011

Complete Acoustic Guitarist Holiday – Class of 2011

Back Row: Glen, Dave, Gunther

Middle Row: Dannae, Paula, Richard [Tutor], Michael, Brian

Front Right: Chris

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Day #5 | Friday 22nd April (Trad. Irish Jig & Performances)

Session #2

After our break we began learning a traditional Irish Jig called ‘The Butterfly’. The jig, which is in 9/8 time and uses the D Minor Scale to create it melodies, is based around a simple rhythm figure and has three musical themes.

Rhythmically think: Dum dum-Dum dum-Dum dum-Dum

Please check out this excellent YouTube collaboration of musicians playing ‘The Butterfly’, which was this inspiration for teaching this piece.

The Butterfly – YouTube Collaboration

The class practice their Irish Jigs

The class practice their Irish Jigs under blue skies.

Session#1

The class continued perfecting their warm up exercises, both physical and technical, and then tuned to to DADGAD once again and learnt the D Minor Scale in the DADGAD tuning.

DADGAD - D Minor Scale

DADGAD – D Minor Scale

We then used the DADGAD tuning and D Minor Scale to create a slow 12/8 blues; improvising licks as we moved from D, G and A pedal tones.

Richard has a giggle with Michael about his thumb!

Richard has a giggle with Michael about his thumb!

Weather Forecast

Sunny

Sunny

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Day #4 | Thursday 21st April (Alt Tuning Day)

Session #3

After lunch the class gathered themselves outside in the garden, bathed in glorious afternoon sunshine, and began rehearsing their chosen songs for the student performance on the final day.

Songs learnt this week:

  1. Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton (Unplugged)
  2. Karma Police – Radiohead
  3. Turn The Page – Bob Seger
  4. Amazing Grace (Trad.)
  5. It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
  6. Fairytale Lullaby – John Martyn

Session #2

After our break we set ourselves up outside in the sunshine and tuned our guitars to DADF#AD (also known as D Major tuning) and learnt John Martyn’s beautiful ‘Fairytale Lullaby’.

John Martyn – Fairytale Lullaby

The class learn Fairytale Lullaby by John Martyn

The class learn Fairytale Lullaby by John Martyn

Session #1

This morning the class warmed up with their exercises and we then introduced to RH picking exercises, including; banjo rolls and alternate thumb patterns.

Gunther working hard on his DADGAD chops

Gunther

After the warm up session the class tuned their guitars to DADGAD tuning (known as Dsus4 tuning) and began learning DADGAD chord voicings for D, G and A.

We also covered the D Major scale for DADGAD tuning, which allowed us to create celtic/irish melodies between the chords.

The scale is built using the same theory as in standard tuning (2212221) but the fingering of the scale is very different due to the altered tuning of the guitar.

DADGAD – D Major Scale

DADGAD - D Major Scale

DADGAD – D Major Scale

Weather Forecast

Sunny

Sunny

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Day #3 | Wednesday 20th April (Intro to Jazz Day)

Special Interest

The class were given an introduction to Gypsy Jazz as part of todays jazz style focus.

It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

– Download the chord voicing sheet: It Don’t Mean A Thing Chord Voicing Sheet.pdf

Session #2

After our morning coffee break we learnt a simple jazz arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’. This arrangement harmonises parts of the melody with jazz chords – maj7, min7, dom7, alt7, to give a mild jazz vibe to the piece.

Richard works with Michael on the jazz arrangement of 'Amazing Grace'

Richard works with Michael on the jazz arrangement of Amazing Grace

The class get the lowdown on the 'Amazing Grace' jazz arrangement

The class get the lowdown on the Amazing Grace jazz arrangement

Session #1

This mornings numero uno session began with the warm ups (physical/technical) and we worked particularly at the spider style chord exercises that is very good for for stretching fingers across the strings.

Spider Chord Exercises

Spider Chord Exercises

– Download this sheet: The Spider Chord Exercises.pdf

We also covered a selection of jazz chords preparing us for our second session of the day.

C Major Chord Connections

C Major Chord Connections

– Download this sheet: C Major Chord Connections.pdf

These chords allowed us to harmonise the C Major scale and build a chord from each degree of the scale:

C Major7 D minor7 E minor7 F Major7 G Dom7 A minor7 B minor7b5

Weather Forecast

Sunny

Sunny

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Day #2 | Tuesday 19th April (Acoustic Strumming Day)

Session #3

After lunch the students assembled themselves into small groups and practiced the song from the morning sessions. One group also learnt another song from Eric Clapton’s MTV Unplugged; the acoustically swung version of ‘Layla’.

Brian playing under the tree

Brian playing under the tree

Session#2

After our morning tea break we learnt Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’.

Karma Police – Radiohead

The song, which begins in the key of A minor and in common time (4/4), is a harmonically complex song (lots of chords), but rhythmically simple. The structure follows this structure: Intro > Verse > Chorus > Verse > Chorus > Outro, with a relative Minor to Major key shift between A minor and C Major in the Chorus. There is also a tone (truck drivers gear change!) key change from A minor to B minor in the Outro section.

Verse

|| : Am D6/F# | Em G | Am F | Em G | Am D | G C | Am | Bm D : ||

Chorus

|| : C D | G F# : || x2

|| C D | G Bm | C | Bm D ||

Outro

|| : Bm D | G D | G D | E : ||

Session #1

The morning session began with a run through the warm ups (both physical stretches and technical finger exercises) and an introduction to RH rhythm exercises. We then learnt how to play a simple strumming song; Bob Seger’s ‘Turn the Page’ (link).

Warm up sessions

Warm up session

Weather Forecast

Sunny

Sunny

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Day #1 | Monday 18th April (Acoustic Blues Day)

Session #3

This afternoons session was outside in the garden with students bathed in glorious sunshine (Air temp: 24°C). The class gathered themselves into three groups (2 duos and 1 trio) and played through Clapton’s ‘Before You Accuse Me’.

Michael and Brian

Michael and Brian play though Before You Accuse Me

Session #2

After a short coffee break we reconvened back in the music room and covered Eric Clapton’s MTV Unplugged  version of the blues standard ‘Before You Accuse Me’.

Before You Accuse Me - Eric Clapton

Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton

Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton’s MTV Unplugged performance was one of the best performances in the Unplugged series, and this rendition of ‘Before You Accuse Me’ was a stand out track from the live recording.

Session #1

This mornings first session began with a run through some important physical warm up exercises, including: finger star jumps, hand stretches, wrist rolling and gentle upper body stretches.

See the I’M A GUITARIST, GET ME OUT OF HERE! Blog to download the Physical Warm Up Exercises For Guitar Players sheet.

– Left-hand finger exercises:

Simple Warm Up Exercises

Simple Warm Up Exercises

– Key points to focus your attention on:

  • RH – Alternate picking (Ascending Down-Up, Descending Up-Down)
  • LH – Thumb placement (C-shape finger and thumb)
  • Use of fingertips and arch fingers
  • Start slow (60-65bpm) and play through Crotchets (4), Quavers (8) and Semi-quavers (16) note durations

9am – The music room is prepared for the students to arrive at 10am this morning for the first session of the week.

Music Room

Music Room set up and ready to go!

Weather Forecast

Sunny

Sunny

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