Hybrid picking (that is, using a combination pick and fingers) is a fun technique to play around with which allows you to pull off ideas which would be difficult or impossible to achieve using the pick alone. It's a technique particularly associated with country playing, and will give you that great twang-y, chicken-pickin' sound. Here's one of my current favourite hybrid picking phrases.
I enjoyed putting together last week's video so much I couldn't help myself from filming another 2 JD lessons. Here's a look at Shadowplay. Once again it's fairly easy to play and utterly brilliant. Check out the lesson here.
I like to mix things up a bit as far as the styles and difficulty levels of my videos go. So after the technical challenges of last week's James Burton solo I thought I'd go to the other extreme with a bit of easy-to-play post-punk from Joy Division. If you're just just starting to get into barre chords, I couldn't think of a better song to have a go at. Lesson here.
As promised, here's a bit more James Burton. Yes, it's quite hard, but not impossible with a bit - alright, a lot - of practice. But it will pay off - there's tons of great stuff to learn in this solo. If you don't have time to learn the whole thing just cherry-pick your favourite phrase or lick and work on that. Here's the video - have fun.
A slightly belated Happy New Year to everyone. Computer issues (sodding Apple!) have meant new videos have been a bit thin on the ground lately, but I managed to get things together on Friday and filmed a couple of new lessons. A lot of you seem to enjoy my country guitar-themed videos so I thought I'd kick off 2017 with look at a couple of my favourite James Burton solos. Today we've got a look at the Rick Nelson track It's Up To You; next week I'll post a video on another Nelson classic Fools Rush In. So check out the first installment here.
So this year I've gone for something by the marvellous Sufjan Stevens. A truly great modern Christmas song, and it's super-easy to play. Check it out here. And if that puts you in the mood, do check out my Xmas lessons from previous years: a lovely John Fahey fingerstyle piece, and a couple of jazzy pieces - Christmas Time Is Here and White Christmas.
Here's a lick which demonstrates one of my favourite ways of breaking out of the usual guitaristic clichés. See what you make of it, and then try using the basic concept to come up with some out of the ordinary ideas of your own.
It's been a while since I've done anything acoustic, so I thought this week I'd take a look at one of my favourite fingerstyle standards, Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotten. This is a great song to try if you're in the early stages of getting into fingerstyle guitar, and for this lesson I've got two versions of the tune for you: one fairly straightforward basic arrangement, and another that tries to get close to how Cotten herself plays it. Find the lesson here.
I've just added a new video in which I talk about how you might combine both rhythm and lead playing in a 12 bar blues. This is something which always sounds super-impressive and it's not as hard to do as you might think. Check out the lesson here.
I've been meaning to do a Keith Levene lesson for some time. He's another one of those stroppy, post-punk guitar anti-heroes that I like so much. For this video I've chosen to look at the song Public Image from the first PIL record. It's a great piece of playing, original and inventive, and you can hear exactly why he was such a big influence on the subsequent generation of alternative British guitarists, people like Johnny Marr and the Edge. Take a look at the video here.
Apologies for the lack of new lessons and overall activity on the site of late. Once again life in general has got in the way of me producing as much material as I would have liked to have done. But I’m now back in London after a busy Summer, and with any luck there’ll be quite a few new videos coming up for you to enjoy over the coming weeks and months.
Last week I posted a new blues lick video up on YouTube, and you can check that out here.
And in case you missed it another recent addition was this great little rockabilly-style lick.
I've been busy filming this week, and I should have a new in-depth song lesson coming up in the next day or two, once I've had a chance to edit everything together.
I'm a huge fan of the band Television and I've had quite a few requests that I look at one of their songs. I aim to please, so here we have an epic, half-hour lesson on one of the finest tracks from their 1977 masterpiece Marquee Moon. There's so much great stuff here, and enough to keep most players busy for quite a while. Check out the video here.
A couple of Steve Cropper-themed lessons for you. In case you didn't already know, Cropper was the house guitarist for Stax records in the 60s, and has played on any number of classic records. His trademark is tasteful, groovy, less-is-more rhythm guitar; only rarely did he take a solo, and even then it was likely to be catchy and melodic rather than technical and show-offy. There's so much you can get out of studying his style. In my first video I look at how you might use some Cropper-type 6ths to create an interesting rhythm part. And in the next lesson I take a detailed look at how to play the great Sam & Dave track Soul Man.
I've always wanted to do a lesson or two on Prince, but up until now it's been next to impossible since Prince - backed up by a team of hard-assed lawyers - was always super-protective of his music, and refused to allow any unauthorised videos up on YouTube. It's sad that this situation only seems to be changing after his death, with a large number of Prince-related videos springing up over recent weeks. So I thought I'd go ahead and join them with this look at one of his most famous songs. Fingers-crossed this video will be allowed to remain live.
I've done quite a few lessons lately focussing on single licks, but what I thought I'd attempt in this video is to show you how I might take one simple lick and develop it into an entire solo. Here it is.