Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beginner Lesson: Amazing Grace
In Open Position &
On One String


Here's a famous public domain song arranged for beginner guitarists. It's presented in musical notation and tablature.

There are two repeats of the same melody.
The melody is first 'tabbed' in open position.


In the first version, all of the notes are 'tabbed' within the first four frets of the nut, or within the open position. This is a convenient way to learn to play the song, with lots of open strings. You can use any fingers you like for now, just go slow and try to play the passage musically.

Can you play it Legato? In order to do this, the coordination between your fretting and plucking hands must be very precise. Go slowly.

The second repeat is tabbed all along one string.

It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to play this fingering legato. Playing this one string fingering is less about learning the guitar, and more about learning music. You can "see the music" and measure how much musical space there is between notes. I recommend starting with only one finger, so your whole arm can feel those musical distances.

This is a great way for a child to relate to music on this instrument. And there are, in fact, one string guitars, called 'diddley bows' that are played exactly this way. B.B. King's first musical experimentation as a child took place on one of these one string guitars.

Improvisors take note: playing on one string is a powerful way to break out of your usual fingering patterns.

Try out both methods.

Click on the image below to enlarge the open position version:



Click on this image to enlarge the 'one string' version:



You could learn a lot about the guitar and making music on the guitar by studying these and other methods for playing.


***

dcguitar.com
Advancing Guitar Lessons: Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun for Beginners and Beyond

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Another variation with this tune is to play it like your favorite guitarist might play it!

pluto said...

Absolutely!

Post a Comment

Hello Internet Guitar Pickerdom,

Thanks for reading.

I love seeing strangers say hello at a party, don't you?

So please leave a comment. Say hi.

Even better, ask a musical question about the lesson above.

I might even answer you. Who knows?

Please don't spam me.

Thanks,

dc

Popular Posts

Jam Classes

.38 Special #mm 12 Bar blues 930 club accra acoustic guitar adele advancing guitar lesson aeolian Aerosmith agbekor alexandria VA amazon.com American Idol Andy Summers arlen roth Arlington arlington guitar lessons arlington VA augmented sixth chords baritone slide guitar barre chords Baseball bass bass wanted beginner beginner chords beginner guitar lessons Blink 182 blink-182 blues blues guitar Bo Diddley bob seger breast cancer breast cancer benefit brian eno CCR changing chords cheap trick chord transitions chris martin classic rock coldplay comping count basie country guitar creativity creedence clearwater Revival CSI D.C. david bowie dcguitar dcguitar.com dcguitarlessons death metal derek trucks Diddley Beat diddley bow dire straits dorian drumming earl slick easy guitar ECM eddie van halen electric guitar elvis costello every ewe falls church VA fear of music fever finger style guitar fingerstyle guitar first chords folk guitar Foo Fighters forming chords franz ferdinand freddie green free beginner guitar lessons free concert free downloads free guitar lessons free guitar tab free guitar tablature free music free music lessons fun fundraiser funk funk guitar gear review ghana gimme shelter girl talk gospel music guitar guitar accessory guitar anti-lesson guitar effects guitar hero Guitar Lesson guitar lessons guitar lessons washington D.C. guitar review guitar slide guitar tab guitar voice leading guns n' roses Hallelujah Hank Williams harmonic experience harmony hendrix chord hey jude holiday raffle Home how to practice humor hybrid picking Improvisation ipod management ipod playlists it might get loud jackass guitar lessons knoxville dcguitar jam class chuck berry johnny b. goode jam band jam class jambalaya Jazz jazz comping jazz guitar jazz guitar lesson jazz theory Jeff Buckley jim hall Jimi Hendrix jimmy page Joe Perry john mayer johnny cash johnny marr joke Jonny Buckland julia cameron k Keith Richards Kids music kinewe Law and Order led zeppelin left hand muting lesson video lessons live music blog live music review Lost lou reed lyrics Margot MacDonald mark knopfler masters of the telecaster merriweather post pavillion Michael Jackson Mick Goodrick mick jagger modes muscle memory Music music lessons music review music theory music theory lesson music videos new gear new music octave displacement online guitar lessons open position palm muting paul mccartney paul simon tribute show strathmore peggy lee performance anxiety pete townshend Phillip Phillips phrygian physics police tour Polyrhythms power chords presale code proud mary Purple Haze radiohead rave ray brown reading music red house reggae relaxation rest strokes rhythm changes rhythm guitar rhythmic displacement right hand muting ringo starr rlington VA robbie fulks robert johnson rock guitar rock guitar lessons rockband rockville MD rolling stones roxanne scales Scarborough Fair slide slide guitar slide guitar washington dc guitar lessons "washington dc guitar lessons" arlington va smart playlists solfege songwriting stay positive stephen davis Stevie Ray Vaughan Stewart Copeland Sting stride guitar strum strumming surf guitar surfaris take me out to the ball game taking back sunday talking heads tear teardrop the artist's way the beatles The Black Keys the edge The Grand Candy the hold steady the national The Police the rolling stones the smiths the white stripes the who thebravery tina turner Tour triads twelve bar blues twitter twitter guitar lessons u2 van halen Venus Virgin Fest voice leading W.A. Mathieu walk the line washington washington D.C. washington D.C. guitar lessons washington guitar lessons waterfall Weaving weaving rhythms weezer when the saints come marching in mississippi john hurt who windham hill wipeout writing youtube zen guitar lessons arlington va dcguitar jamclass zz top

Jam Class and Lesson Rates

DC Guitar's Jam Class offers top notch group and private guitar, bass, songwriting and music theory lessons for the Washington, DC Community.

Please email for current lesson rates.

Be sure to ask about Jam Class, too.