As promised, here is another easy fingerpicking song: the old children's song, Skip to My Lou. It's a melody almost everyone knows, and in terms of chord progression, you can't get much simpler than this. This arrangement is in the key of D, and it's composed of only two chords: D and A7. In addition to making it easy to focus on the fingerpicking technique without worrying about a complex arrangement, the simplicity of the chord progression leaves a whole lot of room for improvisation around the basic melody, if you so desire.Continue reading Skip to my Lou – easy fingerpicking
Oh When the Saints (difficult fingerstyle)
Previously, I presented an easy fingerstyle guitar version of When the Saints Go Marching In. Now I’ll try and take it to the next level, by adding some syncopation, bass runs, and a slightly more complex chord progression. I make no claim to be a fingerpicking virtuoso, but I believe this demonstrates some useful techniques. I find it lots of fun to play, and to my ear it sounds pretty good.
If you haven’t learned the previous version, I suggest checking it out now, as this lesson builds on that. If you find this one to be too big of a jump from the last one, stay tuned, as I will be posting some more intermediate songs, or check out some of the books listed below. Continue reading Oh When the Saints (difficult fingerstyle)
Oh When the Saints (beginners fingerstyle)
One of my favorite ways of playing acoustic guitar is country-blues fingerpickin'. Also known as Cotten pickin' (after Elizabeth Cotten) or Travis pickin' (after Merle Travis). The style consists of a steady bass line played with the thumb, accompanied by a syncopated melody line played with the fingers. The combination of the driving bass and the melody that seems to float in space over it creates a sense of movement and lets a solo guitar sound like more than a solo guitar.
The best way to learn a technique is to learn songs in that technique, so that's what this lesson is for. A good song to start with is Oh When the Saints, because it has a simple melody that we all recognize, but still has a lot of room for elaboration. That way, we can start simple and add embellishments as we go along.Continue reading Oh When the Saints (beginners fingerstyle)