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DaLe tUrNerS GUIDe tO

ACOUSTIC
ROCK GUITAR
THE ULTIMATE DVD GUIDE!
CONTENTS

1. HARVEST 6. UNPLUGGIN AT
Reaping the benefits of Neil Youngs
pick-style acoustic moves
THE CROSSROADS
Eric Claptons smooth acoustic fingerstyle
approach
2. CRASH COURSE
A look at Dave Matthews revolutionary 7. FLEET-FINGERED
rhythm playing on Crash into Me
MAC-OUSTIC MADNESS
Delving deep into Lindsey Buckinghams
3. TAYLOR MADE unique Travis-picking rhythms
Tackling the timeless sweet fingerpicking
style of James Taylor
8. TAKE THIS PAIR OF
4. CAPTAIN NEON STRINGS & LEARN TO FLY
Examining Paul McCartneys two-finger
Dissecting John Mayers unorthodox
magic in Blackbird
fingerstyle grooves

5. THE FREEWHEELIN 9. STRUMS THE WORD


Exploring the elements of Pete Townshends
STRUMMER energetic acoustic rhythm style
A look at Bob Dylans relaxed and groovy
acoustic style
10. BLUEGRASS
BARN-BURNING
Your prescription for flawless flat-pickin:
the great Doc Watson
HARVEST
1
chapter

Reaping the benefits of Neil Youngs pick-style acoustic moves

Neil Youngs career F ig. 11


FIGURE
now spans half a century, and with D Em G C A D

0 0 0 0 0 0
more than 30 albums under his

2 0 3 0 0
2


3 0 0 1 2 3
belt, the Canadian born folk-rock icon has 2
0
0
2
0
0
0
2
2
2 2
0
shown time and again that hes adept at 2
0
2
3
3 0
FIGURE 1
wielding electrified axes. (In the Sixties and FIGURE 2D Em G C A D

0 0 0 00 00 00 00
Seventies, his blues-rock riffing in Buffalo
232 2
D2 Dsus4 D Dsus2 Em7 G6 Cadd2 0A7sus4 D

0 3 0

0 32

Springfield and Crazy Horse rivaled that 23
32
3 2 00
30
0 0
0 0 1
0 0 2
2 0


1
3 3 3 3 3 3
20 22
0
0 2 2
of Cream and Led Zeppelin, profoundly 0
2
0
2
0 02
0
0
2 2
3
0
0 3 0
2 0 0
2
FIGURE 2 2 3 0
influencing Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sonic
F ig. 2
FIGURE 2D Em
0
G
3
C A D

0 0 00 00 00

0 00
Youth.) But for many fans worldwide, its
FIGURE 3D2
Dsus4 D Dsus20
= downstroke =Em7
upstroke 3 G6 0 Cadd2 0A7sus4
232 D2

the magic that happens when Young puts a 3 0 0 1 2
Dsus222 3 2 00 0
32 Em7 3
0 0
G6
0 0 2 0
3Cadd2 A7sus4

30 3 3 0 3 2 3 2 0 3
Martin D-45 in his hands and picks through 2
FIGURE let
10 ring 2 2 22 0 2 0 3 0 0 0
20
D
0 0 00 2 3 0 2 2
haunting classics like Needle and the Em 2 G 2 C 3 A 0 D

0 0 00
sim. 0

00 00
3

0 00
FIGURE 2
30 232 D
0 00 0 0 00 00 0 0
Damage Done (from his classic 1972 album,
03220 3 =0downstroke
2 3
= upstroke
Dsus2
D3 Dsus4 3 D 30
Dsus2 Em7 3 3 G6 31 Cadd2 23A7sus4 3

0
A7sus4
FIGURE 2 0 0 0 00 20 0
Harvest) that has kept him in high rotation 2 02 0 2 0 0 00 0 3 0
0 2 2
0 0 22
2 03 2 2 0
let20 ring 20 20 200 0 022

3 3 3 32 Em7 3 3 G6 3 0 3Cadd2 3
on their play lists for decades. 20
3 0 3 0 0
0 2 2
3 D Dsus2
 =33D2 Dsus4 03
To grasp some of the many elements of FIGURE
FIGURE 4 2 sim. 0
2
3
3 0

Youngs acoustic style, in this chapter, well Em70 0 G6 Cadd2 0A7sus4 D


0 0
0 0 0 0

0 0 0
F ig. D032 Dsus4
let0 ring 0 0 0 0 2
3 3 3 3 3 3 3
examine how a progression based solely FIGURE 3 =0downstroke
22 0 =0 upstroke
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 0

0
3 3D Dsus2
3 Em7 3 2 3 03 3 Cadd2 30 2

G6 A7sus4
Dsus2 2 2 2 Em7 0 0 2 0 G6 00 2 0Cadd2
3 A7sus4
20
upon open cowboy/campfire chords 0 3 2 2 0

let ring 2 2 3 0
2 3 2 0
 =203 3 320 3=020downstroke
like those in FIGURE 1 (D, Em, G, C, A) 3

3 0
sim.
3 0 3
sim.
FIGURE 4
=30upstroke
0 0 0 0
gets stylized with the types of techniques

3 03 0 3 3 0 3 0 3 3 0 30 3

let
FIGURE 3 3 3 0 3 3 03 0 3

0 0 0
2 0 00 0 0 00 02 20
Young uses in Needle. By the end of this Dsus2
D
0
Dsus4 D Dsus2 Em7
2
Em7 2 22 0 2 G62
G6 2 02 0 2
2
Cadd2
3
Cadd2 3A7sus4
2
00 2 0
A7sus4
0 0 0 0 2 3 3 03 2 3 0
chapter, we will have modified these basic let ring
0 3
sim.
ring
0 0 0
 =020 3 20 3 020 32 3
chords with 1) upper-register common tones,
3 3
sim.
FIGURE 4 2 0 3 0
2 03
0 0 0
3 0 0 0 3 0


2) open-chord ornamentation and 3) Youngs 3 3 3 3

D Dsus4 D Dsus2 Em7
3 0 3 3 0 30 3 3 0 30 3 3 0 3
0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20
outside picking/strumming ingredients 02 2
0
2
2 0
0 2
0
G6
32 2
0
2
2 0
0 2
32
Cadd2
3
2 0 2
3 A7sus4
0
2
0
0 0 0 3 3 3
that should inspire you to similarly tinker let ring
3
 =2 23 2 33 2 23 0 3
with your own chord changes. F ig. 44
FIGURE sim.
Instead of opting for mundane, stale
0 0 0 0

D0 0Dsus40 D Dsus2 Em7
let ring
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
chord sounds, Young is a fan of adding 2
0
2 2
0
0
0 2
0 G6
2
0
2 2
0
0
0 2
0
Cadd2
2
3
0 0
2 A7sus4
3
2
0
2
0


0 0 0 3 3 3
colorful tones to his open shapesas the
fancier chord names in FIGURE 2 reveal. In
sim.
2 3 2 3 2 3 3
2 3 2 0 0 0 0 0


3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
bar 1 of this example, the simple changing 0 0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0
0
0
2
0
2 2
0
2
of notes along the first string mutates D to 2
0
2
0
2
0
0 2 2
3
2
3
2
3
0 2 3 3 0 0

Dsus4 and Dsus2. However, its the chords


in bars 2-4 that really get the unique Young
treatment. Here, the fret-hands ring finger
remains anchored on the note DB string, melodic ornaments (beat threes hammered-on picking/strumming, played with a triplet feel
third fretand is played in tandem with notes, performed with the fret hands index finger) groove, as depicted in FIGURE 4. To cop a triplet
the open high E throughout. This creates and strums on beats two and four. Speaking of feel, subdivide a four-beat pulse into triplets (three
the atmospheric and modern flavors strumming, now that were getting into deeper evenly spaced attacks per beat), picking only the
associated with chords like Em7, G6, Cadd2, Young territory, its worth noting that, in contrast first and last bits of each triplet grouping (counted:
and A7sus4sounds that, in addition to to his Seventies singer/songwriter contemporaries, one-uh-let, two-uh-let, three-uh-let, four-uh-let)
Needle, also enrich other Harvest tracks, players like James Taylor, Paul Simon and John with alternate down and up strokes. As your pick
like Heart of Gold. Denver, Young is not a fingerstyle acoustic player hand locks into this groove, pay strict attention to
Country-tinged accompaniment moves but rather a very inventive pick-style strummer, yet the note pairs indicated throughout this example
also figure prominently in Youngs acoustic another component of his distinctive sound. Hence, especially in bars 24. Here, downstrokes strike
style, sounds derived in part from a guitar in tackling this example, make sure you use the each chords lowest note pair, while upstrokes
approach popularized by Maybelle Carter in alternating pick strokes, as indicated. alternately focus on strings 2-3 and 1-2 on the
the country standard Wildwood Flower. In Now that weve got Young-style chord delayed (due to the triplet feel) upbeats. If you
FIGURE 3, this Carter strumming takes our enhancements under our fingers, lets add the execute it properly, youll almost hear a melodic line
initial chord sequence a step further, adding final touch to capture his Needle vibe: Outside in the upper register of each passing chord.
CRASH COURSE
2
chapter

A look at Dave Matthews revolutionary rhythm playing


on Crash into Me

Since exploding onto


the mainstream music scene in the
F ig. 11
FIGURE
= downstroke = upstroke Fig. 22
FIGURE

FIGURE N.C.
= downstroke
= upstroke
mid Nineties with hits like What 1 E5 2
FIGURE
Would You Say, Satellite and Ants
N.C.
1
= downstroke = upstroke E5

!
FIGURE FIGURE 2

Marching, the Dave Matthews Band have

4 0
played a major role in redefining the sound
41
N.C. 4 4 ! 0 0 E5
14

!
of acoustic rock. Their style, which combines

4= downstroke 0= upstroke 0 0

FIGURE FIGURE 2
funky electric bass and drum grooves, ! 14

43
!
FIGURE 4
4
4 Asus2 ! 0 E5 0 N.C.
FIGURE N.C. E5
saxophone and violin parts and, of course,

4 0 14
Matthews quirky, driving acoustic riffs and

G G
C#m7 E/G#
F ig.
FIGURE 3 3
Asus2 Fig.
FIGURE 4
4

!
0 0 XX ( ) XX XX1 4 XX XX XX XX XX
00 00
( ) ( )
rhythmic vocals, has spawned legions of
0 04 00
34042 0 X ) X X X X XG XG X X
C#m7 0 0 E/G# 0 0 E5 N.C.
X
4 4 4 4
C#m7 N.C.
imitators, and their appeal to jam-band fans 0 0! X(
X
FIGURE 0FIGURE 4
X
X
44
has helped broaden the appeal of acoustic 02 X X
2 02 02 02 X X X X X X X X X X X
42 4 4 4 4
04 0 X X X X X
04 E/G#

Asus2 00 E5

00 0X

X X X X X X X X X X X

C#m7 N.C.
G G
0 0 X X X X X

4 0 X X X X X X X X X X
0
music in general, making unamplified axes

0 0
4 X ( ) X ( ) X X X X X X

Asus2 XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX


FIGURE 3 2 2 2 2 2 FIGURE X X
4 X X X X X X X X

4 E/G# 4 E5
0 0 0 0 0 X X X X X X X X
4 4 X
cool to a whole new audience. 4 4 X 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X
2 XX( ) XX ( ) XX XX XX XX XX XX XX
40C#m7 sim.
0 0 0 0 0 0 X X

4 0 X X
20
FIGURE 45 4 X
4 X X Asus2 X
In this chapter, well look at and dissect
E5X G X G X X
2 2 2 2
0 0 0 0 X

0 0
0 E/G#
one of Matthews moodiest hits, Crash
C#m7
FIGURE 5 4 04 04 04 04 04G G XXXX
4
0 0
X

X
X X
X X X X X
X X
X X
0 Asus2
( ) ( )

042 4 042 042 042 0G 042 G 042 042 X


0 X X X X X
Into Me (from 1996s Crash), a hypnotic
20 0 (X ) 0 0 0
0 20 0 2 E/G# 0
0
0X
0X


0X 0X 0X E5X 0X 0X 0XX
F ig. 5

2 2 2 X X X X X X 0 X 0X
X

( ) 04 ( ) 04 04 04 4 G 04 G 04 04 sim. 04 04 04 04 0 04 04 04
00 X 0 0 0 0X 0 X 0 X X 0
2X
and groovy track featuring atmospheric FIGURE 5
2
4 ( 4) sim.
X 4X 4X 4 X 4 X X X
2 02 02 X 2 X 2X 4
4 4
open chords, a powerful melodic bass line C#m7 E/G# Asus2 0 0 E5 0 0 0

4
4 0
20 20 20 20 20 20
C#m7
and syncopated strums of droning open
0 0
0 0
FIGURE 5 2 2
0 2
0 2
0 2 2
0 2
0 2
0
4 4
0
treble strings. The chords in Crash Into
46 ( ) 2 ( ) 2 2 2FIGURE
C#m7
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4 E/G# 4 0
Asus2 4 E5

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
0 0 0 4 G C#m7 C#m70
FIGURE 72
Me change at the rate of two per bar. Many
0
G 0 C#m11
2 2 sim.
0
2 2 2 2 2 2 2

6 0 0
songwriters would simply switch chords C#m11 0 0 0 0 Eadd2/G#
0 0 0 E/G#0 0
4 4
FIGURE 0FIGURE 7
4 42 E/G#
2 G C#m7
46
2G 2 2 G 2 Eadd2/G#
0 0 let
0 ring0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
squarely on beats one and three of each bar,
C#m7 2
C#m11
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
C#m7
4 4
2 C#m11
4 4
2 G 4
2
4
2

but Matthews eschews this obvious scheme
5 5 5 5
70 ring0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
FIGURE FIGURE let 20 2 0 0 0
G G G G
4
C#m7
7754 G 54 54 G 54 54 54 54 54 G 4 54 G 54 54 54 54

by delaying, or suspending, the second C#m72134 C#m11
21341 4 4 C#m11
4 4 C#m7 4 4 4 4 Eadd2/G#
4 4 E/G# 4 4 4
chords placement by an eighth note, so that 02
let ring02 22 22 02 02 02 02 22 22 02 02 02

204 20 C#m11
4

C#m7
F ig. 66 Fig.

FIGURE FIGURE
it falls on three-and. This achieves the 2134 21341


2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
2 2 C#m7
0 0 0 0 2
Eadd2/G# 2 0E/G#0 0
inventive harmonic rhythm (the duration C#m7 C#m11
24 G 2 2 G 2 2 2 2 2 G 2 G 2 2 2 2
0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 2 2 0 0 0
5 ring5
let 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 5
2134 21341 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
of musical time it takes to change from one
chord to the next) reflected in FIGURE 1s
54 54 54 54 54 54 54 54
4
5 5 5 5 5
bass notes. Use your ring finger to fret each
of the notes in bar 1, and pick every note
2134 21341
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
with a downstroke.
FIGURE 2 illustrates the open E5 chord
shape that rings out atop each of the various
bass notes Matthews sounds. Use your bass notes for a moment to focus exclusively on the chords should sound like separate parts.
index finger and pinkie to fret this shape, as strumming. In practicing FIGURE 4, mute all six In the post-chorus sections of Crash Into
your ring finger is reserved for the fretted strings with your fret hand, then use alternating Me (following the lyric in a boys dream),
bass notes. When all elements combine, you down/up strums, synchronized to a 16th-note Matthews puts a new spin on his evocative shapes,
get the sparkly-sounding Csm7, E/Gs, countone-ee-and-uh, two-ee-and-uh, three- playing them in a different order and rhythm,
Asus2 and E5 voicings depicted in FIGURE ee-and-uh, four-ee-and-uh. This is commonly while longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds (a
3. If these shapes are new to you, be sure to referred to as 16th-note pendulum strumming. fantastic acoustic guitarist in his own right) plays
pick each string individually (while holding When this feels controlled, strike the strings only a subtle melodic line in his acoustic guitars upper
down the chord) to make sure each note is on the pick strokes not enclosed in parentheses register. If youre up to the challenge, a composite
ringing clearly and that your fret-hand pinkie in FIGURE 4. If done correctly, youll find youre arrangement of this passage (two guitars arranged
isnt unintentionally muting the open B string automatically using the pick strokes written above for one) can be seen in FIGURE 6. The alternate
(ruining the droning effect). Also, be sure to the tab staff. grips employed here make it possible to use a
mute the unused A string for E/Gs (with the FIGURE 5 puts all these elements togetherbass barre/release movement with the fret hands index
fleshy paw of your fret-hand ring finger) notes, chords and rhythmmuch in the same finger. Quickly alternating between Csm7 and
and E5 (using the tip of the index finger). way as can be heard on the DMB recording. Make Csm11 approximates Reynolds line. To get a taste
Next, lets add the percussive rhythm. But sure your pick is hitting each bass note precisely of what it might sound like if you applied this re-
before plunging headlong into Matthews and not muddying them up by picking additional fingering move to the rest of the Crash chords,
tricky strums, lets strip away his chords and neighboring strings. Bass notes and strummed check out FIGURE 7.
TAYLOR MADE
3
chapter

Tackling the timeless sweet fingerpicking style of James Taylor

In 1968, the Beatles signed F ig. 11 Fig. 22


FIGURE FIGURE
a young singer-songwriter by the *p = thumb, m = middle finger, i = index finger, a = ring finger


name of James Taylor to their label, Dsus2 D Dsus2 D Asus2 A Asus2 A
Apple Records, releasing his self-titled let ring

0 2 2 0 0 2 2

let ring


album that same year. (It would be JTs FIGURE 1 3 3 3
FIGURE 2 02 2 2 0 0 2 2
only Apple album; James Taylor was later *p
2
0 = thumb, m = middle finger, 0
i = index finger, a = ring finger
0
2
2
0
2

re-released by Warner Bros. in 1972.)

Dsus2 D Dsus2 D Asus2 A Asus2 A
Despite his connections with the Fab FIGURE 1
let*pring m

0i 2 p m 2i 0 p m 0i 2 2
FIGUREp 2 mi
let ring p m
i
p m
i

3 3 finger,3i = index finger,FIGURE
a = ring4finger 0 2 2 0 0 2 2

Four, Taylors brand of folk-pop and unique FIGURE *p 3 = thumb, m = middle


2 2 2 2

fingerstyle approach didnt catch on until D
Dsus2
0 D/C#
D Bm11 Dsus2
E7sus40 A D G D/F# E7sus4
Asus2 A 2 Em7 Asus2E7sus4AE7

0
let ring
let ring 0
let ring
let ring 0
1970 with the release of Sweet Baby James.

0
2 0 22 0 2 00 0 2 2 0 0 0





3 3 p3 3 3 0
m 2 p 2 m 0 p0 0 m 20 20

*p m3 m 3 p 2 m p

Spearheaded by the track Fire and Rain 2i 2 2 i2 2i 4 2 2i 2 0 2i 2 2i 1 1
F ig. 330
FIGURE 0 0 Fig. 44 0 0 0
FIGURE 2


2 0 0 0 0 0


(which reached Number Three on the 4 2 0 02 2 2

D D/C# Bm11 E7sus4 0 A G
3 D/F#
2 E7sus4
0 0Em7 E7sus4
0 0E7 0
charts), Sweet Baby James put the spotlight

0
let ring let ring

*pa im a i p a m i a p m p m p m p m

0
on Taylors commanding acoustic guitar 2 i m 2 0 i 0 ai m i m ii m i mi strummed
0 i 0 0
FIGURE 3m m m m
FIGURE p4 p p p


3
p 2 3 p 2 3 p 2 3 2i 0 0 0


presence. That light shines just as brightly p 2 4 2 2 0 2 1
p E7 1

D0 D/C# Bm11 E7sus4 A G 0 D/F#0 E7sus4 0 Em70 E7sus4


FIGURE 5let 2 0 0 0

0
today. He recently came off the Troubadour ring 4 2 0 let ring 2 2 2


A2 00 D

E3 0 A0 D00

00Dsus2 Asus2

0
2 0 2 00

()
Reunion tour, working his cedar-top SJ let
3a ring


3a5 i 3a i 3a 2a 10 0 0 0

i m i m
212 i m i 90 9m strummed
2 2 10 3
model Olson acoustics while sharing the m 2 m 2 5m 2 m 2 4p 2 1


m 0 p 0 12p 0 10 p 10


10 0 3 0

Asus2
bill with Carole King. In this chapter, well 40p 6 4p p
2 6 p 9 2 i
0p11 11 11 13 9 09
2 2
0
2


0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
examine the playing techniques in the song
FIGURE 05 0 0 0
Aa i a i a i a D a E0m i m i m i A m D

strummed Dsus2

()
that started it all: Fire and Rain, a master- m
let ringm m m m p p p p

ip p5a mp i p i i a
10 m i i a
12 m 9a 9 p m 2 0 m p
p p p p m 10 3i


work of chord ornamentation and pianistic 5 10 12 10 3


F ig. 5
FIGURE 54 6 i


6 9 11 11 11 13 9p 9
guitar sounds. (Note: Though Taylor plays

A A Asus2 D0
Gmaj7(no3) E E7 E7sus4 0A 0
D E7 Dsus2 Asus2

() 0
0
let ring 0 0

this song with a capo across the third fret,

2 0 09 0 9
0 2 2 50 3 10 10 3 12
0 0 2 00 3


5 12 10 10 p1 3

well forego capo-ing in this chapter.)


2 4i 6 a m2 6i 9pi0 11 a m 11 i 0 11i 13 1a 2m 9a 9 m 1 m p
p p 0 m 00 i 0
Lets kick things off by examining a sig- 0 2 i 2 2


0 0 3 3 0 0
p 0 0 0


nature James Taylor sound youre perhaps A Asus2 Gmaj7(no3) 0 E7 E7sus4 E7

0
most familiar with: the decoration of open- m i am m i i p i i m a 2a mp m i i i p strum a m 0aa 0 p strum
p m m p
0i p 2 2 0 p p 3 3 p 0 m 0 i 0


position chord shapes with hammered-on/ 2 2 0 0 1 2 i 1 1


0 p 0 0

pulled-off embellishments. All these moves A Asus2 Gmaj7(no3) E7 2 E7sus4 E7
2 2

0
0 3 2 3 0 0 0 0
involve fingerstyle plucking, using your 0 2 2 0 3 3 0 0 0
m
2 m 2i p 0i m a p m 0i p strum 1 2 a p strum
1 1
thumb (p), index (i), middle (m) and ring (a) i p 0 0 0
fingers as specified beneath the TAB staff. 2 2 2
0 3 3 0 0
If you look at the open D chords
m m i p i m a p m i p strum a p strum
treatment in FIGURE 1, youll notice its i p
highest note, Fs (first string, second fret)
is sounded by a hammer-on from the open pianists right hand). At first glance, youll likely the third string, creating harmonious-sounding
first string. Be sure to arch your fret-hand default to fingering these chordsD (played the 10th intervals (a 10th is two pitches 10 scale steps
fingers so that their tips point straight conventional way), D/Cs, Bm11, and E7sus4with apart). Again, arch your fret-hand fingers from
down onto the strings. You dont want your fret-hands ring finger fixed on the second above to achieve maximum note clarity, this time
your fret-hands ring finger crowding the strings third fret throughout, switching around to make room for the droning open D string struck
first string and damping the effect of the the other fingers as needed. To alleviate this finger between the 10th intervals. A sweet E7sus4-E7
hammer-ons (and ensuing pull-offs). All scrambling, in these types of passages, Taylor move caps things off in bar 2.
chord tones should ring clearly throughout actually reverses the outer fingers traditionally Well conclude this chapter with FIGURE 5a
after theyre plucked. FIGURE 2 shows this used to fret an open D shape, using his index finger full in the style of passage that juggles Taylor-like
same approach applied to an open A chord, to fret the highest chord tone, Fs (first string, ornaments (on open D and A chords) with some
which, along with D, Taylor plays similarly second fret), and middle finger for A (third string, familiar seventh-chord sounds (E7sus4 and E7), as
in this songs intro and verses. second fret). This makes it possible to keep both well as some new shapes (Gmaj7no3). The opening
In the chorus, JT opts for a contrasting the middle and ring fingers planted throughout this moments of this example are spiced up with sliding
accompaniment texture, trading some chord sequence. triad moves on the top three strings of standard A, D
ornament activity for a piano-like sound FIGURE 4 similarly depicts another pianistic and E sixth-string root barre chords. Pluck the bass
similar to FIGURE 3, a passage that features portion of the chorus. Here, descending sixth- notes (the open A, D and E strings) that correspond
a descending bass line (like a pianists left string bass notes (each fretted with the middle to each shape as you slide up the third string, then
hand) and upper-register chords (like a finger) are plucked simultaneously with notes on arpeggiate for maximum Taylor-esque tastiness.
CAPTAIN NEON
4
chapter

Dissecting John Mayers unorthodox fingerstyle grooves

Equal parts electric


All examples played fingerstyle: p = thumb, i = index finger
bluesman, acoustic guitar phenom
F ig. 11
FIGURE Fig. 22
FIGURE Fig. 33
FIGURE
and pop singer-songwriter, John Em Em Em
All examples played fingerstyle: p = thumb, i = index finger
Mayer is a master of numerous styles who
FIGURE
let ring let ring
All Em
FIGURE 1
examples

played fingerstyle: p =thumb,
2 i = index0 finger

FIGURE 3


has garnered the respect of his musical

Em 0 Em
X 0
peers (collaborations with B.B. King, Eric FIGURE let
1 ring2 FIGURElet2 ring 2 FIGURE 3

2 X 2
All examples
Em played fingerstyle: p = thumb, Em i = index0 finger Em


Clapton and Buddy Guy) along with chart-

0 0 0 X X
let ring let ring 0 X0


topping success. His eclectic playing style FIGURE 1p 2i p 2i FIGURE p2 2i p FIGURE*i3 *iX 2i
0i i



satisfies hardcore guitar heads while it Em
0 0 Em
0 0 Em
p
X0 Xp
FIGURElet
4 ring2 let ring 2 FIGURE 5

2 X 2
*pre-positioning of finger
exposes a new generation of players to his Em

p i p i p i p 0i *iX i *iX i


Em

Em Em

0 0 0
heroesStevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix F ig.4let ring
FIGURE p4 2i 2 2
Fig.5
0
FIGURE 5
p
X 0
X
p
2
p i p i p i *pre-positioning
*i i *i of finger
i
and otherswithout turning off his singer- 4fr 8fr


Em



0 p p

0
songwriter fan base. 4 ring 0 0
FIGURElet X 0
0
FIGUREEm5 X
Em *pre-positioning X
Em of finger


p 2i
Em p i X 2 p i p i *i i *i i
Lets examine the musicians fingerstyle
Em
1 2 1 3 4fr
Em 2p3 1 8fr
Em


let
0 ring 0 p

X X
FIGURE 4 0 X 0 FIGURE 5

prowess by digging deep into the unortho- *pre-positioning of finger
Em 2 X 2 4fr 8fr



0i *i

dox fingerstyle groove of his song Neon. p i p i *i i Em
1 Em
213 Em
231
let
0 ring 0 X
p 0 Xp

2 X 2
While Mayer originally played the song on FIGURE 6 *pre-positioning of finger 4fr 8fr



0i *iX 1 213 231


electric guitar on his 2001 breakthrough 0
p
Em i p i *iX i


0 X
p 0 p
let ring
2 X 2
album, Room for Squares, nowadays he com- FIGURE p6 i p i *pre-positioning

*i i *i ofi finger
0 X X 1 213 231
monly performs it on his Martin OM-28 Em p p



0 5 8 5

F ig.6let
FIGURE 6 ring0 X 0 *pre-positioning 4 of finger
X 4 9 X 9 4 X 4
John Mayer signature model acoustic.

p 2i
Em p i X *i 2 i 5*i i X 5 7 X 9 5 X 5


The groove approach Mayer uses in p p

let0 ring
let ring 0 X 5 X 8 X 5 X
FIGURE 06

X 0 X 0 X 0 X
0 X 0 *pre-positioning 4 of finger
X 4 9 X 9 4 X 4
Neon is (in his own words) inspired by
p 2i p 0i *i i *iX 2i sim. 5
Em X 5 7 X 9 5 X 5

0p7 i 0pCm11
Xp 0 XXp 2 0of 5finger4 X 4 XX 5
5 8 5
jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, who employs 0 0 9X 9 X 0 4 X 4 X


2 *pre-positioning 7 X 9 5 X 5
an eight-string guitar to cover a wide range FIGURE
p 2i p i *pre-positioning
sim.
0i *iX i *iX i Eb/Ab

07 Cm11*pre-positioning
5 X Bbsus4 0 G7b9/B X
8 5

p 0 p 0 X X 0 X X
of sonic territory and complex contrapun- X 4 X 4 9 X 9 4 X 4
X 2
*i i *i i sim. of 5
finger X 5 7 X 9 5 X 5
tal ideas. Though we will forego detuning FIGURE p
6fr
p
4fr 6fr 6fr
X X Eb/Ab
0 X Bbsus4
X 0 G7b9/B X X 0 X X
in this chapter, Mayer actually detunes his of finger
FIGURE p7 i 2pCm11 sim. 4fr
i *i i *i i Eb/Ab
sixth string down two whole steps to C in 3 4 1 p6fr p 1 444 TBbsus4
3 4 1 6fr G7b9/B
2 1 3 4 6fr
Neon to emulate the low-register content *pre-positioning of finger
6fr 4fr 6fr 6fr
of Hunters style and alternates his pluck- FIGURE
F ig.77 2Cm11
341 1Eb/Ab
444 TBbsus4
341 G7b9/B
2 134
ing hands index finger (i) and thumb (p) to 2 341
6fr
1 444
4fr
T 341
6fr
2 134
6fr
infectious percussive/syncopated effect.
Lets break down the technique Mayer 2 341 1 444 T 341 2 134
uses in this song into manageable bits,
applying each element to an open Em
chord. Before attacking the octave shape doing thisalternating with your thumb and index Now were ready to have some fun with this
in FIGURE 1, position your plucking hand fingersin an even eighth-note rhythm, as written. technique. You may have noticed that were only
over the strings almost as if youre preparing FIGURE 2 adds the open G and B strings to the plucking strings 6, 4, 3 and 2. Good news: Any
to strum themnot stiff-arming style, equation, which are attacked in the same manner chord voicing that falls on these four strings can
but rather with your wrist slightly bent, with the thumb and index fingers, respectively. have this groove applied to it. Lets first test this
for a relaxed rotating at the wrist-type This requires the somewhat awkward move theory using the various Em inversions (same notes,
movement; dont rest your hand on the of bringing the thumb over to hit the G string different low-to-high arrangement) illustrated in
bridge or any other part of the guitars body. immediately after plucking the octave shapeby far FIGURE 5. FIGURE 6 takes these inversions and
Next, with your thumb pointing toward the the most complicated part of the entire groove. employs Mayers Neon groove to carry them up
headstock, give a powerful thumb strike FIGURE 3 depicts the last part of this right-hand and down the neck.
(like a slap bass player) to the sixth string, patternthe simultaneous thumb smack on the Of course, the most common chord types using
pushing through it until your thumb rests muted sixth string, indicated by an x (lightly lay strings 6, 4, 3 and 2 are sixth-string-root major
up against the fifth string (whats known your available fret-hand fingers across the strings and minor barre chords, sevenths, extended and
as a rest stroke). Then, hook the fourth to deaden them) and the preparatory touching, or suspended shapessimilar flavors to what Mayer
string with the tip of your index finger planting, of your pick-hand index finger on the G uses in Neon. Despite eschewing Mayers Drop-C
and use a quick, upward pulling motion string in anticipation of the next move, so you can tuning, the voicings in FIGURE 7Cm11, Ef/Af,
to sound the string. The two movements catch it, then snap it back with a pluck. FIGURE Bfsus4 and G7f9/Bmanage to cop a similar vibe.
combined should feel relaxed, like a down/ 4 puts these three bits together into Mayers Try carrying the Neon plucking pattern through
up strum motion from a loose wrist. Try complete two-beat Neon pattern. these and other chords.
The Freewheelin Strummer
5
chapter

A look at Bob Dylans relaxed and groovy acoustic style

In the early Sixties, Bob


F ig. 11
FIGURE
= downstroke = upstroke
Dylan lit up the hipster folk music

G C Csus2/B D/A D/F# G
scene in New York Citys Greenwich

0 0 0 0
Village with socially-conscious, poetic and


0 0
3 2 2 3
often politically-charged lyrics, memorable


0 1 1 3 3 0
melodies and tons of attitudeall supported 0
0
2
0
2
3
0
0
2
2
0
0
2
0
X
0
0
2

by understated (yet deceptively intricate) 3 2 3
guitar playing. Back then, Dylans penchant
Th
for penning anthems of peace prompted
F ig. 22
FIGURE
journalists to refer to him as a protest singer.
G C Csus2/B D/A D/F# G
(Furthermore, songs like The Times They

let ring
Are A-Changin and Blowin in the Wind
sim.

were adopted as anthems by civil rights and

3 3 2 2 3 3


0 0 1 1 3 3 0 0

anti-war activists.) But Dylan would have 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0
lasting appeal even in mellower times. Today, 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
3 2 0
more than 60 years into his career, the singer- 3 3 2 3 3
songwriter is still going strong, even recently Th
receiving the Pulitzer Prize for his profound F ig. 33
FIGURE
impact on popular music and American G C Csus2/B D/A D/F# G


culture, marked by lyrical compositions of let ring
extraordinary poetic power.

sim.
In this chapter, well focus on country/

3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3


0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 0 0 0 0
folk-like strumming in the style of Blowin
in the Wind, the opening track on Dylans
0
0
0 0
0
0
3
0
2
0
2
0
0
0
0
2
0
2 2
0
2 0
0
0 0 0
0
second studio album, The Freewheelin Bob 3 3 2 3 3
Dylan, released in May 1963, and his first hit. Th
While the original version has Dylan playing F ig. 4 4
FIGURE
with a capo at the seventh fret, various other G C Csus2B D/A D D/F# G

performancesclips on Martin Scorseses let ring
Dylan documentary No Direction Home, for
exampleshow him playing with a capo in

3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 3


0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 3 0 0 0
different positions, or with none. Hence, we
0
0
0 0
0
0
3
0
2
0
2
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0

will forego the capo for this chapter. 3 3 2 3 0 3
Before we get started, heres a little
Th
commentary: Overly technique-minded
guitarists often dont get what Dylan
is about as a player; many have a hard a downstroke on the and of each beat. As you But fret not. Heres another anti-technique tip:
time recognizing and/or appreciating the pick through, implement our first non-technical Its perfectly okay to lift your fingers off the strings
subtleties of his style. For starters, Dylans tip: Pick a little lighter than you ordinarily might, on that last eighth-note strum before each chord
pick-style acoustic playing always sounds so that all the subtleties and nuances of your pick change (without modifying your strumming). This
very natural, relaxed and spontaneous. (In hands dynamics come out. Also, dont squeeze will allow you ample time to reposition them, while
Blowin in the Wind, hes also singing your pick tightly; hold it relatively loose (the pick at the same time (as your pick hand is still grooving
and blowing harmonica while playing should just be sitting in your hand, in a relaxed along) causing the top three or four open strings
guitar.) With the goal of sounding relaxed grip), so that as you rake the pick across the strings to ring briefly. These all-purpose passing chords
and groovy in mind, to help the chops- a little extra percussive click accompanies your are part of what makes passages like this one sound
obsessed cop the right vibe, each figure will strums. Youll find the combination of these two natural, relaxed and Dylan-like.
include a technical explanation of how to small things makes a big difference in producing an FIGURE 4 is a spontaneous-sounding mixture
not sound technical. But first, get a grip on airier, more open acoustic sound. of all the Blowin in the Wind elements weve
the open G, C, Csus2/B, D/A, D/Fs, and G Now lets add double strumming to the picture just examinedquarter-note bass notes and chord
shapes in FIGURE 1. hitting the notes in the upper register of each chord strums interspersed with down-up eighth-note
The first Dylanesque element well tackle twice (two eighth notes), using a down-up strum strumsas well as a more active bass part and a
is the boom-chick, boom-chick move in after each bass note, as in FIGURE 3. Due to some touch of ornamentation (hammering-on to the root
FIGURE 2picking the bass notes on one of the upstrokes occurring right before each chord of the G chord from the open sixth string). Now all
and two, and alternately strumming the change, you may find it tricky to redeploy your thats missing is your voice and harmonica as you
remaining upper notes of each chord with fret-hand fingers to the next chord shape in time. strum along!
UNPLUGGIN AT THE
6
chapter

CROSSROADS
Eric Claptons smooth acoustic fingerstyle approach

Eric Claptons Sixties All examples played fingerstyle. p = thumb i = index m = middle a = ring
work with John Mayalls F ig. 1 1
FIGURE Fig. 22
FIGURE
All examples
A played fingerstyle.E p = thumb i = index m = middle a A= ring E/G#

Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind

FIGURE 1 FIGURE 22

Faith established him as a pioneer of modern 2 3 2 0 2 5 5
All examples
A played
2 fingerstyle.
2 E p = thumb 1 2 i1= index m = middle a 2A
= ring
2 E/G#
4 4

electric blues and rock guitar. Dubbed Slow

2 2
FIGURE 10 FIGURE 2

02 0 0

p0
2 3 2 0 2 5 5
Hand in his early days (a reference to his 2 E0

4 4 4
A 2 1 2 1 A2 2 4
E/G# 4


2 2
tasty blues phrasing as well as the speedor 3 m 3
m p0
20i
m p0 m p m p
3
0p E
i m 3
2 2 i p0 p 0 p 2i 54i 5i
4
4 4
lack thereofwith which he changed strings 2 2 1i 2 1 2p 2 4p 4
FIGURE 2 2 FIGURE m 0p m
onstage), Clapton began to branch out on i 3 3 0 0p m p m p
E m i p p m p
p
Aadd2/E
0 E7 i i i 4i 4 i 4
0 i
his own in the Seventies following his now F ig. 3 3
FIGURE Fig. 44
FIGURE p p

p3 0 i 4E
0 m 3 m p m p0 m p m 0p
p0 m 3 0
2
legendary recording with Derek and the iE p

Aadd2/E E7

E0
0 0 i 0 i i 0 i
Dominos. As a solo artist, he cut such classic FIGURE 1
0
0
4
FIGURE p

p


X X X
4
0 0 0 0 0

2
E200 4 5

5 p0
rock staples as Lay Down Sally and I Shot Aadd2/E E7
0 0 0
04
1 0 0 0 0 0 0
m
00
the Sheriff, while in the Eighties his music 0X X X
4
05 0 0 0
2
m p i p i p m
02
G#
5 0p4
00 0 0

was featured in movies (1984s The Hit and 10 0 0 p0 0

G#
FIGURE
4 m
1987s Lethal Weapon) and commercials X XE X C#m E/B
0 E 0
2 5 m p i p i p m

p
0p

G#
(After Midnight for Michelob in 1987).

FIGURE 0 05 05 0

F
0 4 5 5 5
2 10 2 1 5 5 C#m
6 6 6 E/B
4 4
E0
Then, to the surprise of many, at
ig.5 5
2 2 m p i p m i p m


5 p4

4 4 4

p 4
FIGURE 4 4 5 5 5 5
p p2 m1 32 1
the height of the electric guitar heros 3 4 4 4 7 7 7

5pi
5 5 C#m
6 6 6 E/B
4 4
popularity, Clapton put down his signature
0
2 2
4 54 p4 p4

A
p i 0 m p m
4 m
5 m
5 57 5
p 2p 1mi 23 1
4i E 4 mi
Strat and performed on MTVs live show 3 4 4 4 5i 6i 6 6i 4 7 4 7
2 2 p
Unplugged, a concert that premiered on the
i
p i p m p 4
m 4 4p m 4p
network in March 1992 and was released 3 4 B/A 0 F#m7 i B7 i 7 7 7


0 5 p 0 0 p 0
on CD the following August. The album,
i
2 p 4i p 2p m 37 p m 9p m m 0 p m p
0 0
which included the somber Tears in F ig. 6
A
2 B/A
4 F#m7 i B7 i E i i


0 5 p 0 0 p 0 2


Heaven (written in tribute to the memory 0
2 0 4 0 2 7 9 0 0 0

A2 B/A
4 2
F#m7 2 7
B7 7 E0 0 0 0 3 4
m

of Claptons five-year-old son), received a m p0 m p0 0
m p 5
m p 0m 0
m p i p 0 i p
2
i
20i 4i 22i 77i 90i 0 0 0

Grammy for Album of the Year and quickly 2p 4 2 7 0 0 p0 3 4
m
p p p 2
climbed to Number One on the Billboard 0m 0p m 0p m p m p m m p i p i p i
charts. The Nineties also saw Clapton i i 2i 2 7i 7 0i 0 0 0p 3 4
p p p p
contibute Change the World, another m p m p m p m p m m p i p m i p i
i i i i i p
classic acoustic moment, to the soundtrack p p p p
to the movie Phenomenon. While Clapton
is still going strong today, playing both
electric and acoustic, it is his particularly
unplugged era that well focus on in this
chapter. the songs vocal sections. Here, Clapton uses a form throughout (with the fleshy pad of your fret-hand
Tears in Heaven opens with one of the of accompaniment reminiscent of how a pianist middle finger). Meanwhile, between Claptons vocal
most recognizable acoustic guitar intros of would accompany a singer: quarter-note chord phrases in Change the World, youll often hear an
all time, a passage kicked off with an open- partials in the upper register (the guitars second accompanimental fill that features the open first and
A-chord move involving hammer-ons and and third strings), sounded over syncopated bass second strings, plucked in alternation between hits
pull-offs to and from the chords sus4 tone notes (plucked with the thumb on the sixth string). of the open low E string. This is similarly depicted in
(D, third fret, B string). FIGURE 1 illustrates Again, fret the A using an index-finger barre to FIGURE 4a nice break for your fretting hand!
a similar approach, applied to both the A facilitate the AE/Gs change. FIGURE 5 combines many of the techniques
and open E shapes. For the A, barre across Now lets look at some of the chord voicings and gleaned from Tears in Heaven and Change the
strings 2 through 4 with your index finger accompaniment moves Clapton uses in Change World and plugs them into a progression similar
and use your middle finger for the hammer/ the World. FIGURE 3 features chord shapesE, to that heard in the chorus of the latter song, using
pull ornamentation. Fret the E chord Aadd2/E and E7similar to those heard in the familiar open shapes (E and A), barre chords (Gs
conventionally, using the pinkie for the sus4 songs verses. These chords are the result of moving and Csm), the occasional slash chord (E/B and
embellishment on the third string. Be sure a sixth interval (two notes that are six scale steps B/A), and other tones. In extended passages such
to follow the pick-hand fingerings shown apart) along the third and fifth strings, with the first, as this, to avoid frustration, get comfortable with
beneath the tab. FIGURE 2 focuses on the second and sixth strings ringing open. Note the x on the basic chord shapes first, then grapple with the
fingerpicking groove employed throughout the fourth string in the tablature; mute this string plucking-hand intricacies.
FLEET-FINGERED
7
chapter

MAC-OUSTIC MADNESS
Delving deep into Lindsey Buckinghams unique Travis-picking
rhythms

All examples played fingerstyle: p = thumb, i = index finger, m = middle finger, a = ring finger
When Lindsey Buckingham
joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974, he F ig. 1 1
FIGURE Fig. 22
FIGURE Fig. 33
FIGURE
helped transform the veteran British Cadd2 Cadd2
blues-rock band into an incredibly successful Cadd2 let ring let ring
mainstream pop act. In his formative years,

3 3 3


3 3 3
Buckingham drew inspiration from Elvis
3
2
3
2 0 0

Presley guitarist Scotty Moore, who was an
21 34
early practitioner of Travis picking within a
p p p p a m i a m i a m
pop/rock and roll context. This somewhat
country-like fingerstyle approach was named F ig. 44
FIGURE Fig. 55
FIGURE Fig. 66
FIGURE
after Fifties country session musician Merle Cadd2 Cadd2 Cadd2
let ring let ring let ring

Travis. Buckingham was also a huge fan of

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3


3 3 3 3 3 3

Chet Atkins. Couple these influences with 0 0
his experience playing banjo as a youngster, 2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3
and you have the foundation for the unique
fingerpicking guitar style, which Buckingham a p a p a a m p a m a m a m i a m i a m
employed to great effect during his tenure with p p p p p p p p p
Fleetwood Mac. F ig. 77
FIGURE
In this chapter, well tackle his famous Cadd2 Em7 A7sus4 G/B G
polyrhythmic Travis picking style via a pas- let ring
sage modeled after parts in Landslide from

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3


3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
1975s Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham performed
the studio version with a capo across his 3
0
2
3
0
2
0
2
0
2
0
0
2
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
0
0 0 3
Martin D-18 acoustics third fret. Well forego
a m i a m i a m a m i a m i a m a m i a m i a m a m i a m i a m
capoing in this lesson. p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p
Lets begin by building up Buckinghams
intricate fingerstyle passage over the Cadd2 F ig. 88
FIGURE
chord in FIGURE 1. While holding down this Cadd2 Em7 A7sus4 G/B G
let ring

chord and those that follow, Buckingham

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3


3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

plays a quarter-note bass line, alternating 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
between different chord tones (plucked 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 0
3 3 0 0 2
with the thumb, p), as in FIGURE 2. Over 0 0 3
this, Buckingham arpeggiates a descending a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m i a m
cascade of notes on strings 1 through 3: a p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p
repeating three-note passage played in eighth
notes, plucked with the ring (a), middle (m)
and index (i) fingers (a banjo-style roll),
as seen in FIGURE 3. Note that the first six
eighth notes (two groups of three; think of it arpeggiated figure over the thumbed bass notes, approach in FIGURE 7 is that the thumb plucks the
as 1 2 3, 1 2 3) are capped off with the two beginning with the first string (pluck with ring sixth string for the Em7 and G chords to sound their
eighth notes (think 1 2) at the measures end. finger), as in FIGURE 4. Take note of each moment respective roots.
Buckinghams use of 1 2 3 notes plucked your thumb and other plucking-hand fingers sound We described FIGURE 3 with the terms
in a rhythm of twos creates whats referred notes simultaneously; coordinate those first, and it polyrhythm and hemiola. In that example, a repeating
to as a polyrhythm, the simultaneous convey- will become easier to add the between the bass three-note pattern (1 2 3, 1 2 3) is capped off with an
ance of two or more contrasting rhythms. notes. FIGURE 5 adds the second string (plucked extra pair of compensating notes (1 2), creating
This particular polyrhythm has its own with the middle finger) to the picture, while FIGURE a user-friendly passage, repeatable at each chord
name: hemiola, the rhythmic relation of three 6 incorporates the third string (plucked with the change. If youre up to the challenge, FIGURE 8
against two. Youll find plucking this arpeggio index finger) for Buckinghams complete figure. shows the result of a relentless 1 2 3 pattern (a true
part over Buckinghams bass line is trickya FIGURE 7 runs Buckinghams complete plucking- hemiola), yielding a groove that feels like 1 2 3, 1 2
groove that could be illustrated as (bass notes hand pattern through Cadd2, Em7, A7sus4 and G 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, with the bass notes occurring on the
occurring where underlined) 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2. chords. Notice that each of these chords shares underlined beats. As chords change (at beat one),
Lets break this passage down into the same note pair on the top two strings. The only the first upper-register note plucked will be on a
bits, adding one string at a time from the mechanical difference between FIGURE 6 and the different string each time.
TAKE THIS PAIR OF STRINGS
8
chapter

AND LEARN TO FLY


Examining Paul McCartneys two-finger magic in Blackbird

The Beatles Blackbird, F ig. 1 1 C major scale in 10ths intervals


FIGURE Fig. 22
FIGURE
performed entirely by Paul 1 C major
FIGUREfingerstyle *p scale in i10ths
= thumb; = index intervals FIGURE
McCartney using his Martin C2
let ring *p = thumb; i = index
D-28, was released on the 1968 album The FIGUREfingerstyle
fingerstyle
C major
51 ring scale
8 in 10ths intervals FIGUREC5 2

let53 ring
let 6 10 12 13 15 17 5 5
Beatles (commonly referred to as the White 0 0 = thumb;0 i = index
*p 0 0 0 0 0
C5
0 0

*53pi 0p 65pi
Album). From a guitar standpoint, the songs 6 87 10 12
10 0 13 15
14 0 17 5 3 5
0 5 0 8 0

0 12 0 15 0 3 0 0

roots and inspiration can be traced back to
7 8 10 12 14 15 53i p 5i 3p 5i p


8 10 12 13 15 17

McCartneys early experimentation with a 0p etc.
0 0 0 0 0 0 p 0 0
well-known piece by J.S. Bach titled Boure *3i p 5i p etc.
7 8 10 12 14 15 3i p i 3p i p
in E Minor, which he woodshedded in his FIGURE p3 p FIGURE 4 p
youth. (Lyrically, Blackbird was penned in *i p A7i p Dmetc. c)i Dm(add4)
p i p i p
F ig. 3pC3
FIGURE p
a) C44
Fig.
FIGURE b) A7
p

0000 00
reaction to escalating racial tensions in the

00 00 00
C3 A7 Dm a) C b) A7 c) Dm(add4)

3 1
U.S. in the late Sixties.) To this day, guitar

302
FIGURE 310 2
0
3
2
FIGURE54 0 8 0 13 2
0
5
0
8
0
10 6
0
10
0
15
teachers find that the tune is one of the most C3123 32
A7 10
Dm a) C53 b) A7 c) Dm(add4)

103
20 3 87 13
10 2
0 5
4 8
7 10
1 0 6
5 10
8 115
2

00 0
commonly requested songs among their 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0
fledgling fingerstyle students. Lets examine 32 10


20 3 53i p 87i p 1i0
13 20i p 54i p 87i p 10
1i0 65i p 10
8i p 1i2
15
what makes this classic track tick. 0 2 p 0 p 0 p p 0 p 0 p 0 p p 0 p 0 p
2 2 0
Throughout Blackbird, McCartney FIGURE35 0 3i p 7i p 10i 0i p 4i p 7i p 10i 5i p 8i p 12i
p p p p p p p p p p
uses his pick-hand thumb (p) and index C A7/C# Dm(add4) B7/D#
finger (i) to sound strings, while fretting FIGURE 5fingerstyle i p i p i i p i p i p i i p i p i
p p p p p p p p p p
only two notes (mostly on the A and B Clet ring A7/C# Dm(add4) B7/D#
F ig. 55fingerstyle
FIGURE

3 5

fingerstyle
strings), plucking the open G string on 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 7
Clet ring0 0 A7/C#0 0 Dm(add4)
0 0 B7/D#0 0
the eighth-note upbeats. For the basics 3 5

53pi 0p 5i
53 5 3 5 54 4 6
5 6 5 6 7
6 6
of this technique, have a look at FIGURE let ring0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 5
1. As indicated, pluck the first two notes

Em3pi p i
3p 5i p 54i p 4i p 65
etc. 6 5 6 76 6
simultaneously with your pick-hand thumb 0 p 0 p 0 0 0 0 0
and index finger. These two notes, along 3p i p Fadd2 4i p 4i p 5 G
etc. 5
E7#9/G# Am76 6
p p
with the open G string, imply a C chord (C E 10
8
Emi p 8 i p 8 i p 10
Fadd2i 10
p i 10 p etc.12
G 0 E7#9/G# 13
Am7 13 13
G). As the figure unfolds, this shape, fretted p 0 0 p 0p 0 0 0
with the same two fingers, is shifted up 10
7
8
Em 0 8 7 8 8
10
Fadd2 8 10 10 8 10
12
G 11
E7#9/G# 12
13
Am7 13 11 13
the neck, with the notes spacing modified 0 0 0 0 0 0
10
slightly to accommodate notes in the C 87 8 7 8 10
8 8 10 10 8 12
10 11 13
12 13 11 13
0
Abmaj7 0 0 Dm(add4) G7/F 0 C/E 0 0 C 0

0
major scale (C D E F G A B). Pluck the open 7 7 8 8 8 710 811 12 11 8
G string in between each shifted shape with 13
Abmaj7 13 13 13 13 13 6
C/E 0 8 8 8
0 0 0 0 Dm(add4) 0 G7/F 0 0 C 0
your thumb.
Additionally, in Blackbird McCartney
plucks passages like the one shown in
FIGURE 2. In this busier groove, as
11
13
Abmaj7
13
11
0

0
13 11 13

13 11 13
0

0
11
13

13
11
0

0
13 11 13

13 11 13
0

0
5
6
Dm(add4)
65
0

0
7

7
8
8
G7/F 0

0
8
7
C/E
8
7
0

0
8 7

8 7
8

8
0
0
C8
!
!
8
00 8
8
0
8
8
0
your thumb alternates between the A and 11 11 11 11 5 8 7 7
G strings, your pick-hands index finger
!
8

strikes notes on the B string between


thumb-picked notes.
Now lets look at how these kinds of
moveable two-note shapes can imply different pairs of chord tones from C (C E G) fifth and second strings and then pluck the three
a chord progression. In the following are fretted along these two strings, plucked in resultant shapes illustrated in FIGURE 4c.
examples, well extract two notes at a time conjunction with the open G. Use your index finger FIGURE 5 illustrates this approach in an expanded
from stock chord shapes youre likely and pinkie to fret all the notes. A7 (A Cs E G) gets progression that incorporates a variety of chords.
already familiar with, such as those shown a similar treatment in FIGURE 4b. Notice that Notice the new shapes, involving notes on the first
in FIGURE 3. Next, well play these note this chord has four different notes in it, yielding string. For these, fret the fifth- and first-string notes
pairs (on the A and B strings, exclusively) at an extra shape at the end of the example: G (fifth with your middle and index fingers, respectively.
different spots on the neck, plucking them string, 10th fret) and A (second string, 10th fret), The passage ends with an interesting C voicing, the
McCartney style. fretted with the ring finger and pinkie, respectively. result of shifting a common open G chord shape five
To illustrate, in FIGURE 4a three For Dm (D F A), locate the chord tones on the frets up the neck, to C.
strums the word
9
chapter

Exploring the elements of Pete Townshends energetic


acoustic rhythm style

Pete Townshend is a killer F ig. 11


FIGURE Fig. 22
FIGURE = downstroke = upstroke
tunesmith who has penned such
simile
A/D G/D D E/D F/D G/D
rock classics as My Generation, D = upstroke
10A/D
Baba ORiley and Wont Get Fooled FIGURE 1 FIGURE 29 7 = downstroke2 4 5 5 7


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 simile
8 3 5 6 6 6

Again. But the Who guitarist and band G/D D E/D F/D G/D

9 7 2 4 5 5 7
= upstroke
leader is also among the most skilled and D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FIGURE 1 FIGURE 29

= downstroke
10A/D
influential rock rhythm players in history. 7 2 4 5 5 7
904 0 70 0 20 0 0 40 simile
10A/D
132 G/D
8 D
3 E/D
5 F/D
6 6 G/D
6
By the late Sixties, Townshends unique FIGURE D 3 FIGURE = upstroke 0
5
0 0 0
5
0 0 7
0 0

riffing approach on both electric and acous- FIGURE 1 FIGURE 29E 7 = downstroke
9 G/D E9sus4
5 7
2 4 Badd4/E 5 Aadd2/E 5 E 7
7 4 simile

109413E00 1300 78 1300 11E9sus4
8 3 5 6 6 6

00 00 00 5 00 00 7 00
tic had earned him praise from legends E 1 3 2 D E/D F/D G/D
FIGURE 0 0 0 0 0 0

00
2 5
D
0 4 0 0
like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. His F
FIGURE 3ig.3 Fig.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

914 540 99 99 0 99 650 0677 6770 677 650 1220 122 670 1220


02 0 05
0 12
early use of power chords and overdrive Badd4/E Aadd2/E E

11 11 8 8 8

13E00 1300 1300 11E9sus4


132 3
E 14 7 14 2 12 12
0 0 0 0 0
also provided the blueprint for the chord- 14 14 14 12 12 12
0 0 0 0 0
FIGURE 3 FIGURE 04 0 0
0
0
0
0 0
0 0 0 0 0

ing styles of metal and hard rock. In addi-
14
231


0 0 0 0 E01 01 0
9 7
Badd4/E Aadd2/E
tion, the ultra-flamboyant showman pio- E 1 3 2

11

11
8

8
8

6

6

6
1

00

FIGURE 5 14 14 12 12
FIGURE 12 6 9 9 7 7 2 2 2

0 0 0 0 0 0
neered onstage theatrics like windmilling

FIGURE 3 FIGURE 14
4 0 14
0 14
0 12
0 12
0 12
0 9 0
0 9 9
0 7 0
0 7 0 7 2 0
0 2 2
0
13 11 11 8 6 6 6
G C 0 0 D 0 0 0 0 Asus4 0 0 0 A 0 0 0 0 0 0
E 2


E0 13 0 0 0 0 0 E01 01 0

231
and guitar smashing, and popularized noise- E9sus4 Badd4/E Aadd2/E



let ring

13 11 8 8 1


making methods like controlled feedback 14 14 14 12 12 12 9 9 9 7 7 7 2 2
FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6
C 1 01 1 01 D0 3 0 0 0Asus4 5 5 05 05 50 5 A 5 05 05 05 5 50 5 5 5
14 14 14 12 12 12 9 9 9 7 7 7 2 2 2
0 0 0 0
2 3 Glet1 ring
3 3 3 3 3 03 3 03 0 2 0 0 0 5 5 0
5 05 5 0 5 5 05 05 05 5 0
5 0
5 5 0
5 5
0 0 0 0 0 0130 0130 13 2 11 11 117 7 87 87 78 7 6 66 66 66 6 61 6
and pick scrapes.

2 3 G231 3 3 3 3 C3 31403 31403 D140 2 120 120 120Asus4
X X9 X X 7X 7X 7X X X2 X2 X 2X7 X7

0 5 0
In this chapter, well tip our hat to Town-
shend by looking at some of his high-energy
F ig.5
FIGURE 0 5 2 14 14 014 12 Fig.6
12
FIGURE 12 7
X X 9X 9
6 7 9
7 97 7 9
7 7 77 77 77 7 2
7
1 6 1
2
7 7
6 6
2

let ring 3 57 57 57 57 57 57 A56 56 56 56 56 56 56 56 56 56


0 0 0
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0

G23 7 30 30 30 30 C3 31 31 31 31 1. D 23 Asus4
acoustic riffspassages featuring super- 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
0 7 7 7 7
FIGURE 05 2 FIGURE 767 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
0 30 0 0 0 0 30 0 0 2
quick flamenco-flavored strums, suspended FIGURE
letletA ring 5
X X
5 X 5 X 5 X X X
5 X 5 X 5 X 5 X 5 2.X X
5 X 5 X 5 X
chord shapes, open-string drones and more 5
5
5 5 5A 5 5 5
5
5
5 5
5 A
5 55 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
5
5
5 55 5 5 5 5 5
5

7 7 7

3 30 30 30 30 31313131 1. 23 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 55 2.55 55 55 55 55
5 Csus4 5 D5
0 7
G/A D/A Gsus4 G Asus4 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 Dsus2
which he executed on such classic instru-

0
2
7 7 7
7 7 7
7 7 7 7 7 7
0 30 0 0 0 0 30 0 0 2 6
ring
ments as a Gibson J-200 or a Martin D-18. FIGURE 2 7 3 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
A 100010030 1000 10 3 0 0 3 3 23 3 X 3 5
5
8 68 68 68 6 6 63 6
D5 3 63 Dsus2

X5 X7 X7 5X7 5X7 5XX 5X7 10X5 10X5 10X5 105X 10


Before we delve into Townshends mania-
5 0 5 5 4 X 4 7 7 77 76 7X 76 10 2 72 7 2
0 0 G/A 0 30D/A Gsus4
0 0 0 3 3 3 G 3 X 3 Asus4 5 5 A 5 X 5 Csus4 8 8 8 8 8 8 0
10 7 7 72 7

30A 0 0 0 0 0 G/A
5 75 75 7X 75 87 8 7 6 6 3
cal strumming style, lets explore some user-
FIGURE
let 9
0
2 7
ring9 9 9 2 8
11 11 11 11 3
9
7

4 1.
2
0

5 5
X

5 5 X X X X X 7 10
X
7 10
X
7 10
X
7 10
X
510X 5 2.05 50 5 350 5 0
7 7
X X X X X X X X
D5
friendly examples, similar in approach to
3 3 3 3 X 3 5 5 5 5 X 5 8 8 8 8 8 8 3 3 3 3
0 X X X X 5X


0 D/A
0 Gsus4
3 3 3 G 3 X 3 Asus4 5 5 5 A 5 X 5 Csus4 8
5 8 5 8 5 8 5 8 5 8 5 Dsus2
0

what is heard on the Who cuts Magic Bus
0 711 11 11 11 0 9 0 4 0 1.X5 X5 X5 X5 XX X5 X7 X7 X7 X7 XX X7 10X 10X 10X 10X 10X 10X 2.0 0 3 0 20
A 100 100 100 100 G/A
let10 3 10 10
10
ring 8 33
and Substitute. In these songs, Townsh- F ig.7
FIGURE 9 39 9 9 7 2 5 5 5 4 X 4 7 7 7 6 X 6 10 10 10 6 10 10 10 2 2 2

D5
8 3 3 3 3
end shifts the fretted notes of an open D
let 9ring39 9 9 87 D/A Gsus4 G3 X
0 0 3 3 3 3 Asus4
5 5 5 A 5 X 5 Csus4
8 8 8 8 8 8 Dsus2
0
2 2 2
3
3 3 3 3 3 33 X X 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 X X 5 5 58 5 8 5 8 5 8 5 8 5

100 100 100 100 08 03 33 33 33 33 XX 33 55 55 55 55 XX 55 858 858 858 858 858 858 3 3 3 03
3
3 20
chord, as seen in FIGURE 1, strummed in

2 5 5 5 4 X 4 7 7 7 6 X 6 10 10 106 10 10 10
percussive fashion, to different positions 11 11 11 11 9 4 5 5 5 5 X 5 7 7 7 7 X 7 10 10 10 10 10 10 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
on the neck while the fourth string rings
9 39 9 9 7 2 5 5 5 4 X 4 7 7 7 6 X 6 10 10 106 10 10 10 2 2 2 2
0
5 5 5 5 X 5 7 7 7 7 X 7 10 10 10 10 10 10 0 0
open throughout. This is illustrated in FIG- 11 11 11 11 9 4 0 0
URE 2. Pick all notes with downstrokes and,

0 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 3
3 3 3 3 X 3 5 5 5 5 X 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
immediately after you strum each movable
3 6
D-chord fragment, choke it by relaxing your
fret-hands grip, so that each chord rings
with a very short duration. You can fully cop
Townshends touch by digging in harder the band joins on the downbeat, to generate musi- wristarching it to maximize rotation ability
with your pick each time you see an accent cal momentum. and loosen the grip on your pick so that it
mark (>) above the tab. This chapters remaining examples are mod- slices across your guitars strings with minimal
In songs like Dr. Jimmy and I Can See eled after songs from the Whos Tommy and fea- resistance.
for Miles, Townshend takes an approach ture Townshends trademark quick strums. FIG- Modeled after Pinball Wizard, FIGURE 6 fea-
similar to the above, only with the open URE 5, modeled after parts heard in Overture tures 16th-note strums of fully fretted Asus4 and
E chord shown in FIGURE 3. Moving this (Tommys opening track), is played in first posi- A shapes. Note that these voicings require thumb
chords fretted notes up/down the neck tion and involves 16th-note-triplet strums of open fretting on the sixth string. As Townshend strums
while allowing the open low E, B and high G, C and D shapes. Pick the bottom notes of each steady 16th notes, its his accenting pattern that
E strings to ring yields rich, exotic sounds, chord with a downstroke, then quickly strum the gives this passage its recognizable groove. FIGURE
as shown in FIGURE 4. This example also higher strings following the picking instructions 7 combines all the techniques and approaches cov-
features another signature Townshend above the tab. To achieve Townshends explo- ered in this chapter and ends with an open D5 riff
device: anticipatory strumsdouble strum- sive, rapid-fire strum (envision the sound of a reminiscent of other acoustic moments heard in
ming a chord half a beat before the rest of marching bands snare drum), pick with a relaxed Tommys Overture.
BLUEGRASS BARN-BURNING
10
chapter

Your prescription for flawless flat-pickin: the great Doc Watson

Flat-picking phenom F ig. 1 1


FIGURE = downstroke = upstroke Fig. 22
FIGURE

Doc Watson just celebrated C C F
his 88th birthday, and he still
= downstroke = upstroke
C0 2 10 10 0 2 0 0 2 10 10 2 0
let ring let ring
wails like no other, maintaining a regular
C 0 0 0 2 F3 12 12
FIGURE 1 0 0 0 0 FIGURE 2 1 1 0 0 1 1

let ring 0 0 let ring 0 2


touring schedule to this day. Arthel Lane
Doc Watson was hugely responsible for

3
3
FIGURE
popularizing the acoustic guitar as a lead
C10 2 10 =10 downstroke
0 0 0 0 1 1

3 3 FIGURE4 3 0 2
1 1
2 10 10 1 1

instrument in folk, country and bluegrass, FIGURE 0 2 0 0 0
= upstroke 2 2
and his style seamlessly melds ultra-fast 0 2 2 0 C 0 2 F3
open-chord strums with ripping single-note FIGURE


letCring

1 1 1
let ring

runs reminiscent of bluegrass fiddle licks the C7 N.C.(C)

0 2 2
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

C 10 10 10 C7 N.C.(C)3
1 1 1 1 1

guitarist picked up in his youth. 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
1 3 0 2
In the Fifties, Watson (who was stricken F ig. 3 3 0 0
FIGURE 0 2 0 2 2 0 Fig. 44
FIGURE 0 2 3

3 0 0 3 3 2 3 3 0
1 1
blind by his first birthday) spent equal time
playing electric and acoustic guitars, banjo 0 2
3 0
2
2 0
0 2
0
0 2 0 2 3
0 2 0
3 2 0
1
and even some harmonica. During this era,
C3 10 10 0 2 10 C7 N.C.(C)
35 3 1. 3 2 3 2. 3 0
1 1

Watson was regularly employed as an elec- FIGURE 3 0 2 0 0 FIGURE 4 0 2 0
tric guitarist in country swing bands. Hed 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 3 3 2 0
often find himself in a lineup without a fiddle
FIGURE
00
1 1 1 1 1
C F G7
let ring0 0 0 3 00 02 2 0 0 1.2 01 1 1 1 1 1 0 2 0 2.2 31 10 2 0 3 2 01 1
player (an instrument that plays a key role

C30 2 10 10 0 2 0 3 0 2 10 10 2 0 F 12 12 1212 3 123 122 23 0 3 G7


1
in country swing) and would be asked to cop
some fiddle lines to authenticate the bands FIGURE 5 0 0 0 2

let ring
0 0 0 30 0
sound. By the Sixties, at the dawn of the folk
music revival, the guitarist transferred this
3 3 0 2 0
0 0
0 2
0 0 0 0


1 3

0200020 020020
approach to his acoustic (a Martin D-18, and 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
F ig. 5 5 1 1

F C N.C.(C)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0

later, a Gallagher G-50), and the sound for- FIGURE 1. 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 2. 0 0 0 0 0 0

1 3
3 3 0 0 2
ever associated with Doc Watson was born. 3 F 3 (G) G7C G/C 0 C2
This chapter features numerous exam-


let ring
1 10 0 1 1 1 10 13 13
F 0 2
1 11 1 1 1 0 1 0

ples inspired by Watsons blistering per- 0 1 1 1 1 1 1
0 01 00 00 1

1 11 11
101 1 1 1 1 0 2101
3 2 03 0C 2 0 22 0
3 0 2
2 2 2 2 2 0 0 0

3 0
33 2 3 3 3
32 0 N.C.(C)0 2 0 2 3 (G)

3
formances of Black Mountain Rag, a con- 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0G/C
0 0 C
0 2 0
3 3 3
2 0 2
cert staple that features many of his trade-
1 0
0 0
mark techniques. (Docs recorded versions 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1
2 2 2 2 2 0 0 2 0 0
of this song go back as far as 1963 and con- 3 0 2 0 2 3 3 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 2


tinue to the present day. Many of these fea- F 3 N.C.(C)
3 2 3 (G) 0 2 C 3 3 G/C C
1
3 3
ture his late son, Merle, on second guitar.)
1 1 1 1 0
0 0
FIGURE 1 illustrates a chord and fiddle- 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1
2 2 2 2 2 0 0 2 0 0
like riff similar to that heard in the song. Flat- 3 0 2 0 2 3 3 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 2

pick notes from the C major pentatonic scale 3 3 2 3 0 2 3 3
1
(C D E G A) between the cracks of a double-
strummed open C shape (strum down-up on
the and of beat one throughout). Keep all
fingers fixed to your C chord, using only your Meanwhile, in FIGURE 3, our familiar C chord gets of open C, illustrates one Doc-style run. Alternate
fret hands middle finger to hammer-on and elevated to C7 status (bar 2). In addition to middle- picking is used throughout, save for the pull-offs
pull-off to and from the notes on the D and G finger hammer-ons and pull-offs, this passage at the beginning and end of bar 2, which are used
strings second frets. Allow all notes to ring features pinkie pull-offs from Bf (G string, third fret) to help smooth out the line.
together as much as possible. to the open string and requires some tricky cross FIGURE 5 is a barn-burning in-the-style-of
FIGURE 2 depicts another approach picking. Follow the picking suggestions above the passage that will melt some picks. It combines
taken by Watson in Black Mountain Rag, tab staff to avoid any kinks that may exist when many of the techniques explored in this chapter,
that of mimicking both fiddle lines and playing this passage at full speed. weaving in a few new chords as well, including an
bass guitar parts. Here, the last two notes Watson is also renowned for blazingly fast open G7 and a thumb voicing of F (fret the low
of each measure function as approach alternate-picked runs, played in open position, E string with your fret-hands thumb).
tones, pointing to the root of a forthcoming executed at a stop-time break (where the band, Approach all these examples slowly at first,
chord. The C chords root is preceded by an or sole rhythm guitarist, stops playing and a solo- gradually increasing the tempo as you try to
ascending AB scalar line, and the F chords ist erupts in an improvisation). FIGURE 4, a spi- keep you pick hand as relaxed as possible while
arrival is set up with the notes D and E. raling sequence of notes within the lower strings minimizing the amount of movement.