Sunday, December 20, 2009


My favorite moment of the gig on Friday, aside from some incredibly proud moments I had watching my students play, was when I said to Dave Chappell:

"Can you kick off Gimme Shelter? You know, the Keith Lick?"

To which he replied:

"Sure! What key?"

"Nice!" I thought "Now THAT's a PRO!"

The Seminal Whirlies and The Grand Candy had a very fine time celebrating Keith Richards' Birthday on Friday Night with a little help from our friends. Thanks everybody for coming out, even with the threat of the snow-pocalypse looming overhead. Thanks for getting a little shelter from the storm with us.

Here's the opening lick from GIMME SHELTER from The Rolling Stones' great Let It Bleed, the "Fake Last Song" at the show on Friday at Sin-É:

The four bars above are pretty close to what Keith plays on the second pass through the chord changes. He plays each pass subtly differently, but you'll have to listen to that and figure out his subtle voodoo yourself.

It's arranged in several 'Keys'.

Here it is arranged guitar in Open E, Open G, and Standard tuning.

To be able play this song and be able to fake an orchestration of all of the parts on one guitar, I recommend Open E.

I also included a line of acoustic rhythm guitar at the bottom, playing essentially the guiro rhythm from this song. If you're learning this lick and have a buddy who can strum some open chords, have him capo at the ninth fret and strum the chords E, D, and C chords indicated really lightly near the bridge of his acoustic.

Of special note: I notated the Key as C#minor, even though the tonic chord is major in this tune. Every other chord in the song borrows from the parallel minor key, so it made the notation more clear to use the C# minor key signature.

Here's four more bars, the bit where Keith does his melodic bit in the top voice:

I hope you enjoy playing this riff.

Happy Holidays!
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

Follow me on Twitter: @diddleybow

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DC Guitar Party Update

There is NO COVER for tomorrow night's gig at Sin-E.

Charity Raffle Details:

All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Raffle tickets are $5 and entitle you to enter the drawing to win a FREE one hour trial lesson ($75 dollar value) with me.

A purchase of four raffle tickets enters you to win the grand prize drawing.
Grand Prize: 3 Months of Beginner Lessons ($600 Value)
Second Prize: 1 Month of Lessons ($200 Value)

For practical reasons, current students are ineligible for a. However, they can enter and gift the lessons to their friends, relatives, etc....

This just in, Dave Chappell Joins The Show:

Exciting news....

The Grand Candy will be augmented by Dave Chappell, one of the finest guitar pickers in the Washington, D.C. area.

Dave is an excellent example of the fine telecaster tradition in this area. His playing harkens to that of one of his mentors, Mr. Danny Gatton. I'm very glad to have him on board so that my students may have an opportunity to hear his fine playing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

DC Guitar Party

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

The First Annual DC Guitar Holiday Party.
Live at Sin-E
8pm, Friday, December 18th
Live Music
No Cover
Charity Raffle

I could find no other occasion more meritorious than the birth of a legend of rock, and a personal favorite of mine:
Keith Richards. So we're doing it on his birthday. There will be live music with NO COVER CHARGE.

As a benefit for Breast Cancer, I'll be raffling off about $1200 in FREE guitar lessons for the Holidays. I figure Keith would like an event that saves at least half of the things he sings about here. And I know Keith's music has saved the other half of those things for many of us, many times.

Check the update, but here's the rough idea:

1rst Prize: 3 Months of FREE Private Guitar Lessons
2nd prize: 1 Month of FREE Private Guitar Lessons
3rd-5th prizes: 1 FREE Introductory Lesson

As for the live music, my current
Jam Class band, The Seminal Whirlies, is going to open the show. In the spirit of lifetime musical growth, I play drums in this band. My students play guitar.

I am pleased to be able to say that another one of my students, Ms.
Margot MacDonald, will be dropping by after her gig at the Kennedy Center that night.

At Sin-E, she'll be sitting in with some ladies and gents that call themselves
The Grand Candy.

The theme of the evening is Keith Richards self-professed method of songwriting, from the April 1983 issue of Guitar Player Magazine:

The way I write songs is to sit down and play 25 great songs by other people and hope that one of mine drips off the end.

So over the course of the evening, the various musicians assembled will work their way through about 20, possibly even 30 of the songs listed below. As Keith is 66 (heh heh!) this year, here are 66 songs that might qualify for the event:

  1. All You Need Is Love The Beatles
  2. Beast of Burden The Rolling Stones
  3. Born Under A Bad Sign Albert King
  4. Brown Sugar The Rolling Stones
  5. Cry Cry Cry Johnny Cash
  6. Dead Flowers The Rolling Stones
  7. The First Cut Is The Deepest Cat Stevens
  8. Gimme Shelter The Rolling Stones
  9. Hallelujah Leonard Cohen
  10. Happy The Rolling Stones
  11. Happy Christmas (War is Over) John Lennon
  12. Have Love, Will Travel Richard Berry
  13. Hideaway Freddie King
  14. I Hear The Bells Mike Doughty
  15. I Saw Her Standing There The Beatles
  16. Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry
  17. Jumping Jack Flash The Rolling Stones
  18. Just Like A Woman Bob Dylan
  19. Lawyers, Guns and Money Warren Zevon
  20. Legs ZZ Top
  21. Mind Your Own Business Hank Williams
  22. Mississippi Bob Dylan
  23. Mysterious Ways U2
  24. Not Fade Away Buddy Holly
  25. Rock And Roll Music Chuck Berry
  26. Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
  27. Satisfaction The Rolling Stones
  28. She Took A Lot of Pills Robbie Fulks
  29. Sunshine of Your Love Cream
  30. Trenchtown Rock Bob Marley
  31. Tumbling Dice The Rolling Stones
  32. While My Guitar Gently Weeps The Beatles
  33. Wild Horses The Rolling Stones
  34. You Can’t Always Get What U Want The Rolling Stones
The First Cut IS the deepest.
Songs Eliminated on 12/11:
  1. Brass In Pocket The Pretenders
  2. Don't Think Twice It's Alright Bob Dylan
  3. Expresso Love Dire Straits
  4. Let’s Have A War Fear
  5. Loving Cup The Rolling Stones
  6. The Way Fastball
  7. (They Call It) Stormy Monday T-Bone Walker
  8. Stop Your Sobbing Kinks / Pretender
  9. Too Much Monkey Business Chuck Berry
  10. You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC
  11. Sultans of Swing Dire Straits
Eliminated on 12/14:

  1. Looking Out My Back Door CCR
  2. Louie, Louie Richard Berry
  3. Love Song The Cure
  4. Mannish Boy Muddy Waters
  5. Memphis Chuck Berry
Eliminated on 12/16:

  1. Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles
  2. Fairy Tale of New York The Pogue
  3. Golden Years David Bowie
  4. Instant Karma John Lennon
  5. It’s Only Rock And Roll The Rolling Stones
  6. It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me Billy Joel
  7. Little T & A The Rolling Stones
  8. Live With Me The Rolling Stones

Eliminated on 12/17:

  1. Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles
  2. You Got The Silver The Rolling Stones
  3. Walking On The Moon The Police
  4. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding Nick Lowe
  5. Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley
  6. Should I Stay or Should I Go The Clash
  7. Spoonful Willie Dixon
  8. Pour Some Sugar On Me Def Leppard
  9. Money (That’s What I Want) Barrett Strong (Motown)
Over the next week the list will be edited, and starting next Music Monday (Yo ho ho: #mm) the list will be whittled down to a manageable size via Twitter.

Keep up with the setlist changes on Twitter:

Then come join me at my
neighborhood bar for a fun evening on Friday the 18th.
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Reggae One Drop Rhythm

Another name for the beat in Reggae is 'One Drop'. In this beat, the strong beat is beat three, as opposed to beat one. The first beat is 'dropped'. Hence the term 'One Drop'.

Here's a great example of a One Drop rhythm. Check out the nasty groove created by drummer Carlton "Carly" Barrett and bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett on Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock" from Bob Marley Live!

Here I've created a simple interpretation of that groove for a three piece rhythm section:

Bass: The bass is where the action is in reggae. Check out how the the bass line 'drops the one' on every measure except the last one. Amazing Bass, how sweet the sound indeed!

Guitarists: this is two rhythm parts compressed into one for a trio setting. Usually this guitar part would appear as two separate rhythm instrument parts. One instrument playing only the legato strong beat on beat three, the other playing the staccato 'back beat' on beats two and four.

Also, take note of the voice leading in the upper voices of the guitar chords. It really makes the chord progression perk up.
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

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