Videos/Scores

Beginners Guitar Lessons - Songs

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Hi, if you're a just starting out it might be worth looking at the First Guitar Lesson link here: Beginners Theory before trying Frere Jacques. There are a few things to consider that might help you.

Such as:

Right hand technique - rest strokes, free strokes or plectrum/pic alternate picking.

Left hand technique - keeping the fingers close and parallel to the fretboard would be a suggested classical way to begin but with simple melodies like this you could also use a looser style like that of the blues players. Both right and left hand positions and techniques can vary depending on the guitar, the style of music and of course personal preference.

The guitar has infinate variety and so there are many choices to be made as you learn but also some generally followed rules that may help.

In this video the melody is played with right hand rest strokes, meaning the right hand fingers strike the note and then afterwards rest on the string above. This has the effect of making a clear accented tone, perfect for projecting a melody. This is a technique often used in Flamenco and Classical guitar playing on Spanish guitars.

Rest Stroke

If you're using a steel string guitar it is more common to use free strokes where the right hand finger doesn't rest on the following string or alternatively use a pick/plectrum.

In each case it is normal not to use one finger or (with the plectrum) type of stroke. With rest and free strokes use the index and middle fingers of the right hand (if you are right handed of course) as noted on the score with the symbles (i) and (m).

RH - fingering

If you are using a plectrum you would use up and down strokes in a similar way.

You can use the notation/tablature posted below the video, but i suggest trying a good teacher to get you going. If you are in the London area you can contact me for a lesson click here: Lesson Contact

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Hi, this an easy guitar version of the song vaguely based on the Jeff Buckley interpretation which is in the same key but with a capo at the 5th fret.

I've completely avoided barre chords so it should be possible for a beginner to try.

You will need to learn the following chords:

AminC majorF major G majorE majorA minor 7

The 6/8 time is different to most commercial songs and is more often found in blues and gospel music originating originally from African music. Another popular song with the same time signature is House of the Rising Sun. The 6/8 time is often split into two groups of three | 1 2 3 4 5 6 |.

The suggested starting right hand picking for this peice would be thumb, index, middle, middle, index, thumb.

Here is the jeff buckley version live. Click Me.

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Hi, this is the melody to The Animal's classic House of the Rising Sun.

If, like me, you are pucking the melody the most common way to do so would be using the index and middle fingers of the right hand alternately.

On a classical/spanish guitar you would usually do this with rest strokes, If you're using a steel string guitar it is more common to use free strokes
where the right hand finger doesn't rest on the following string. Alternatively use a pick/plectrum using both up and down strokes to save time and get into a good habit.

Most of the melody is in first position although it does breifly skip to third position so the left hand ring finger can play the 5th fret of the E string, the songs highest note.

You can use the notation/tablature posted below the video, but i suggest trying a good teacher to get you going. If you are in the London area you can contact me for a lesson click here: Lesson Contact

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Hello, here's a short but cool little blues riff. I'm not exactly sure where it's from, it was shown to me when i was a teenager. If you know please tell me!

So i chose to use a nice country blues right hand technique, to try it use the plectrum (held between the thumb and index finger) and middle and ring fingers for picking at the same time.

If you want to see someone who does this perfectly check out the late great Isaac Guillory

This technique is slightly awkward at first but once you are used to it's very usful for switching between rhythm and lead playing flawlessly.
It also give a very strong bass sound.

Isaac

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Hi there. This is an acoustic version of the Jimi Hendrix classic. It's in the key of Eminor with some interesting passing chords.
For instance the F chord seems to be borrowed from the key of C major (the natural 2 chord in eminor would be Fsharpminor7flat5). Although the song starts in eminor it does have quite a strong major quality.
Quickly going to Gmajor and at the end of the sequence the D chord implies its going to go to G without actually doing so.
If you're thinking "but Jimi Hendrix didn't know anytyhing about theory", remember that he was 27 when he died and was talking about learning theory and reading to Miles Davis not long before his death

The technique of this peice is quite easy but make sure you keep an eye on the strumming pattern, notated with arrows on the score.

Hendrix

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This is a 12 bar blues, so named because the length of the structure is 12 bars long.
This is perhaps the most basic way of playing the blues but still has a few tricky technical obsticals to overcome.
The right hand palm is slightly muting the strings at the bridge. This tightens the sound and makes it more percussive.
The strings are left to ring once more while playing the chords and also for the turnaround figure at the end of the sequence.
The turnaround's job is to bring the sequence back to the beginning. This is only one example, there are many stock turnarounds.

The blues can also be played in other structures including open grooves, 8 bar blues, 10 bar blues or mixtures of 8 and twelve bar.
There are many, many more styles of blues than you are going to commonly here played by your local pub band, unless you are really lucky.

Here is a shuffle blues that uses both a 12 and 8 bar sequence with a walking bass line:

Maryin' Blue Yodel.mp4

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El Condor Pasa is a traditional peruvian folk song also famously covered by Simon and Garfunkle with english words.

As always use the index and middle fingers of the right hand to pluck the melody with rest strokes or alternate up and down strokes with a pick/plectrum.

For the Rhythm part i used a folk technique, plucking the bass with the thumb and then lightly strummed up, down and up strokes with the index finger

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House of the rising sun with easier right hand picking than the original.

As shown on the score use the thumb, index, middle and ring finger of your right hand to pick the song. The original is more difficult and uses a plectrum, however the chords are the same.

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