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Guitar Playing Made Easy
By John Charles
If you have purchased this course then you are allowed to use it in whatever way suits you best, however in this politically correct age in which we live I am obliged to insert the following copyright reminder:Copyright © 2012 John Charles. All rights reserved The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in any retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher is expressly prohibited and is an infringement of the copyright law. Cover and Interior Design: David Ambrose, Revolution Mind Publishing. www.RevolutionMind.com All photos: www.morgueFile.com, except side-by-side guitars in Chapter Two: David Ambrose
IMPORTANT This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The information herein is based upon the author’s experience and opinions only. It must be remembered that many variables affect individual results. Yes, I know you have heard it all before, but…. Now that the legal bit is out of the way, lets get on with the interesting part, which is learning to play this wonderful instrument.
+). Washington and New York before returning to a residency in London. Finally I moved into Rock music and for a number of years now have been playing with a band called MFP and our gigs have literally taken us all the way around the world including time spent in Nashville.-"%(! I work as both a professional guitarist as well as being a guitar tutor. After some years with the Wayfayers I moved into Country music and formed a group called the Footsteps and those of you who are into Country music have probably heard of or seen us. . I am a member and fellow of the Guitar Appreciation Club. and I started off my playing career in a gospel/folk group called the Wayfayers.
Chords and songs to be played are shown like this: .Note on the Layout of Notes and Chords Chord and string notes in the body text are shown in bold. B. D. A. G. E. like this: E.
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that you follow my instructions. make no mistake about it. It is most important that you follow carefully the instructions as they are given. You will discover that this course is quite unique."0. and to guitar players. and stick with the course. Your friend John Charles . providing you follow my instructions. So. The course has been written and arranged so as to provide you with a basic all round knowledge and understanding of how to play the guitar – which of course is why you bought it in the first place. The first chapter you will see is about the guitar itself. by means of regular practice. I will also be teaching you so that not only will you enjoy hearing yourself play. I have not padded this out in order to make it look like a large package.!1$. but more important still is that you apply what you are being told to your guitar. and stick with the course.". but who actually play the guitar for themselves. I have taught literally hundreds upon hundreds of students. neither have I added in what I consider to be unnecessary waffle. I just tell you what you need to know in order to get playing. and I am delighted that you have decided to join the ranks of those who not only listen to the guitar. and I am confident that this will be the case with you also. Please read this chapter even if you have a guitar. as I said earlier. but I mean every day.0* First of all. providing. you will be doing just that. let me welcome you to this course. and the way that it is unique and different will become apparent as you progress through the lessons which follow. But on top of that. And.). most of whom have been complete beginners. but you will be able to bring pleasure to other people also with your music. the different types available and what you need to know before you make that all important purchase of your first instrument. and I have seen them going from zero knowledge of playing to becoming quite accomplished players. and is very different to any other ‘learn to play guitar’ type of instruction that is available today. let me wish you very happy playing. And when I say regular I do not just mean now and again when you feel like it. and for about 20 minutes a day. with that introduction.
I want a bike. classical. Is it for racing. If you have not yet purchased your first instrument then I would suggest that a visit to your local music store would be a good idea. Go to another store and say the same thing and see what this salesman suggests. It normally has a pine front with rosewood back and sides.<=>?* There are basically two main types of guitar available – the Spanish or Classic guitar. However. Well now. then stick with what you have for the moment. but that is not the ideal. or commuting in heavy traffic. or a child. Let me suggest that if this is your situation. However. within those two main categories there are a number of sub-categories. and only then. and is it for an adult. If I looked at him blankly he would ask me what I intended to use the bike for.()*. rock. pop. And depending on what I was going to use it for. blues. and when you get there tell the salesman what style you want eventually to play i. But. show me the bikes which would best meet my needs. The Spanish or Classical guitar is ideal for playing Spanish. He would listen carefully to what I told him I was going to use it for and then. country. Latin and flamenco music. but it would not be the ideal and you would be putting yourself at a disadvantage. which has a meaning for us. Now. and the Plectrum guitar. If I went in to a bicycle shop and said to the assistant. and having an excuse to play some of them. it is just wonderful being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of guitars.$2&+. or whatever. let’s get back to the two types of guitar that I mentioned early on. a very short story. But it’s all good fun. it is true to say that you can play all styles on almost every guitar. but if they say different things then beware – somebody is not giving you the right advice and you will need to get a third and maybe a fourth opinion. he would probably ask me what sort of bike I wanted. the assistant would refer me to the appropriate bike for my particular needs. He would not say that as long as it has two wheels it does not matter what you buy.4567*89*:. and then a bit further down the road you can think about changing. and I want to talk about all of these so that you are aware of what is available. So here is the first lesson to learn – if possible you should choose an instrument which is the right one for the style of music that you wish to play. You could ride up a mountain on a commuter bike. But first of all. or riding up mountains. it has a . in the early stages of your learning. I love visiting various music stores and sometimes travel many miles to do so. classic.e.0(3*. do not despair if you already have a guitar and you have discovered that it is not ideal for what you want to do. folk. don’t buy an instrument on your first visit. and see what he suggests. If it is more or less the same as the first salesman then you will know that you are on the right track.
It is very important that you never under any circumstances fit steel strings to a Spanish guitar. rock and roll etc. However. So now. It is fitted entirely with steel strings. in the early stages most beginners find it easier to strike the strings with their thumb. The steel string guitar is broken down into the following sub-categories:~ Acoustic. This guitar is played with a plectrum in the right hand (for right-handed players). rock. The Plectrum guitar is an ideal accompanying instrument and it usually has a slightly narrower neck making it a little easier to play for the beginner. some country. start off in the way you mean to go. It also gives a softer sound. as this is an ideal instrument for playing folk and country songs on. jazz. I look forward to seeing you in chapter two. let me wrap up this first chapter by saying that if you have not already done so then I would suggest that you purchase a steel string guitar for yourself. ~ Solid body electric which is used in pop. bluegrass etc. You will probably have noticed that the main difference between the Spanish and the plectrum guitar is that the Spanish has nylon strings whereas the plectrum has steel. etc. . it is fitted with nylon or gut strings. if you already have a nylon string guitar then that is fine as it is perfectly possible to learn chords and strumming techniques and all the other things that we will be learning. This is likely to cause irreparable damage to the instrument. it is just that you will find it a little harder until you have the right guitar for the job. will be aimed at right-handed players. and. the plectrum is often referred to as a pick. as well as popular tunes. Finally just to mention that if you are left-handed then please just reverse all of the instructions I will be giving which. country. but you will have to learn to use the plectrum so if possible. However. and it often has a steel bar through its neck which helps it withstand the increased strain of having steel strings.wider neck than the plectrum guitar. which is used in folk. ~ Semi-electric/acoustic which is used in blues. for convenience. and that’s ok to begin with. most importantly.
2nd .@. . This shows the 6th string to the 1st string.()*.3*:. In other words. The picture below will show you what each part of the guitar is called.G.High E. Before you begin playing. The strings are numbered from the lightest (thinnest) to the heaviest (thickest). 4th . So the thinnest string is the first string.D .A . A guitar in standard tuning is tuned to E .G .$2&+. 3rd . you must first learn what the different parts of the guitar are.B . 6th string . 1st .A. and the thickest is the 6th string. 5th string .D.B.E.Low E.<=>?*&A>=8B4* To know the guitar. you must also know how the frets and strings are numbered.
one for each of the six strings of the guitar. A set of fairly inexpensive pitch pipes can be obtained from almost any music store. 4th. and this is how you do it. it is the pitch that must be the same. which is certainly not always the case. . the E string on your guitar. not the sound. It is no good trying to play an instrument that is out of tune because it will never sound right and will just leave you annoyed and frustrated. Now. So we must spend a bit of time at this early point in our course learning the different ways that we have available to us for tuning our guitar. And then thirdly. you must be aware that the piano sound is different to the guitar sound. The 5th. because I want you to be aware of the possibilities.()*. Please remember with all the tuning methods that I will give you that the 6th string of the guitar is the lowest sounding string. Method 1 – Tuning to a piano or keyboard. Method 2 – Pitch Pipes. Start by playing the E above middle C on the piano and then play the top string.C<AD7*-<?7=* Whether you are just starting out as a guitar player. and adjust the tuning peg one way or the other until both the guitar note and the piano note sound at the same pitch. Once that top string. and this method which I have described does have some problems attached to it. and if it is not then you must put it into tune straight away. or if you have been playing for many years. you must be sure that the piano itself is in tune. and also the thickest in appearance. in the ideal world this would be a great way to tune your guitar. One method is to tune your guitar to a piano or keyboard. one of the first things you do on picking up your guitar is to check that it is in tune. and in appearance they resemble a small mouth organ. 3rd and 2nd strings are correspondingly higher sounding. then you can tune all the other strings using the Relative Tuning method which is described in Method 6 below. A set of pitch pipes produces six notes. as I do all the other methods. having the highest pitch of all.$2&+. and this is one of the reasons why so many beginners give up on the guitar. with the 1st string. the E string is in tune.2)((3*-<?7=*. because they either won’t or can’t put it into tune. lets move on to the next method. Secondly. the top string. probably the biggest problem of all is that most people do not have a piano and cannot gain ac-cess to one! But I mention this. So with this in mind. Firstly. but unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world.
Method 5 – Tune to another guitar. There are two main types of tuning fork available. This is a small machine which you can buy whereby you simply tell the machine which string you are tuning and then as you strike a string a needle on the machine moves and tells you when you are at the right pitch. and you will need to study the Relative Tuning method in order to know how to proceed. It should sound the same as your first string open. and then practise the system. the one sounding the lowest.To use the pitch pipes you locate the pipe marked E of the lowest pitch. Remember. and then you tune your string to theirs and so on until all of the strings are correct. OK. This is a popular way of tuning your guitar. and one which I use in my live classes. Relative tuning is possibly the best method of tuning the guitar. The 5th string is the next one in and so on until you reach the first string which is the one furthest away from you. To be honest with you I have to say that I have never used one of these myself. and blow through it to produce a note. not the actual sound. therefore may I suggest that you read carefully the instructions I am about to give you. low E. the 6th string is the string nearest to you. The 6th string of your guitar. Method 4 – Tuning Machine. What you do is strike the fork on your knee or boot and then place the end of the fork onto the body of the guitar. . 3rd. it is the pitch or level that has to be the same. I am sure that they will be more than happy to help. The steps are:Put your 1st string (top E) into tune by using one of the above methods. Place the first finger of your left hand on the second string (B) just behind the 5th fret. 2nd and 1st strings. and the one favoured by most guitarists. has to be adjusted until its pitch is the same as the pipe. or you could use pitch pipes. and then pluck this string. When the 6th string is ok you can then move on to the 5th. I personally use an E tuning fork for this. the highest in pitch of the 6 strings. If you are not sure how to use a tuning fork then ask the sales person where you buy it for a demonstration. However. Method 3 – Tuning Fork. an E fork and an A fork. Somebody who has a guitar which is already in tune plucks a string. this will only help you to put one string into tune. now lets move on to method 3. This produces a note either an E or an A depending on which fork you have. but if it does not then you need to adjust your 2nd string until it does. so that’s pitch pipes. Method 6 – Relative tuning. so I cannot say how effective they are. I just wanted to mention that they are available. Now let me just mention at this stage that when you are holding your guitar. 4th.
Tune the 6th string so that when fingered just behind the 5th fret it sounds the same as the 5th string open.Tune the 3rd string so that when it is fingered just behind the 4th fret it sounds just the same as the second string open (with no fingers on). Note: It is only when tuning the 3rd string that you place your finger just behind the 4th fret. . in Chapter Two. Now I know that all of this looks on paper to be rather complicated. for all others it is the 5th fret. but in fact when you have gone through this a few times it will become second nature to you. an illustration of a guitar pointing out various features that you need to be aware of. it sounds the same as the 3rd string open. Just one other thing to say on this. Will you please make sure that when counting down the frets that you do not include the nut of the guitar as a fret. For your guidance I have given. Tune the 4th string so that when fingered just behind the 5th fret. Tune the 5th string so that when fingered just behind the 5th fret it sounds the same as the 4th string open.
()*-. it might be an idea to buy two or three so that you find one you are most comfortable with. as they are so cheap. otherwise if you are holding the pick too tightly it will impair your playing. The pick should be held between the thumb and first finger of the right hand (always assuming you are right handed). Chords.$2&+. so if at first you find it awkward or difficult. can I suggest that you go out and buy yourself a plectrum. . The first string of the guitar is the thinnest. The best way for you to learn chords is for you to use the system of diagrams that guitarists use called Chord Windows. and has the highest sound. and it saves the wear and tear on your thumb! Using the pick is particularly helpful if you have steel strings on your guitar.BG$C8?H7* Just before we get down to actually playing. but the type of stroke to use we will discuss later. and we are going to start off now by playing our first chord. and when you wish to accompany yourself. This is a Chord Window The vertical lines represent the 6 strings of the guitar. The guitar is an ideal accompanying instrument.C6*+E6F=?. a chord is a group of notes played together. Needless to say. and it should be held so that it actually balances on the first joint of the finger. the using of the pick is an art in itself.1)3*. and you can use this for striking the strings. Now. The horizontal lines represent the guitar frets. The pick should be held firmly. then please do persevere with it and you will find that it gradually gets easier. or pick as it is more commonly known. then it is usual to do so by playing chords. but at the same time your fingers should be relaxed. and in fact. The pick should strike the strings at as near a 90 degree angle as possible. Choose one which is not too flexible. or someone else who is singing.
You now need to run your plectrum across the first 4 strings only.) The No. 1 on the diagram tells you to use your 1st finger. 3rd. at the first fret (in fact just behind the first fret. . An ‘X’ at the top of the diagram tells you that those strings are to be neither played or fingered. you would put your finger on the 1st string. You might of course be asked to use your 2nd. 4th fingers or even your thumb. in the next chapter we will really get down to business. which is your index finger. Did you do it? How did it feel? Well.When you see a dot or dots placed on a chord diagram then you know that this is where you should place your fingers. In the above example you would place your 1st finger on the first string. So. at the 1st fret (remember although we say at the fret we actually mean just behind). in our illustration. Give it a try right now.
and running it across to the 1st string. Place your first finger (index) behind the second fret of the 5th string.()*-"I(3*$C8?H*89*:* We are now going to play our first chord. which is the string nearest to you. Follow the instructions first. and the numbers in the circles show what fingers to use. Step 1. I know of plenty of my students who at first thought it impossible to get everything right. which when played correctly gives a lovely full sound. Place your third finger behind the third fret of the 1st string. my chord does not sound so lovely. but lets just look at some of the more common faults that beginners make. Step 3. Step 2. Place your second finger behind the third fret of the 6th string. having mentioned these points. Secondly. take your pick in your right hand and run it across all six strings. . while you are holding down the chord of G. but believe you me. you must make sure that your fingers are not actually touching the frets. and they are now good players. please check that you are pressing the strings down firmly. and see if this is your problem. the chord of G. and you will be too if you just keep working at it. Now. Well. but they stuck at it. on the string. and are not accidentally touching the string next door. As you can see. But. This is what the chord of G looks like in chord window form. this is to be expected as it takes a lot of practise to get it perfect. Thirdly. I do not want you to become over concerned with them at this stage. Now I have to agree that the Step 2 indicated above is difficult. because with time and practise they will all come out right. starting at the 6th string. You have to push your first finger right across in order to reach the 5th string. I can hear you say. the circles indicate the positions on the fingerboard where the fingers should be placed.$2&+. and check the instructions with the chord window or diagram as it is known. but are placed just behind the fret. please check that your fingers are only touching the strings that should be touched. when you have done it a number of times it will gradually get much easier. Firstly. So to proceed.
but remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Listen out for any dull sounding strings that buzz. and then you will not even be aware of them. I know the temptation will be to spend a little while on this and then move on to the next chapter and then the next and so on. and then repeating the whole process. I know it sounds slow. Good luck with your first chord. and I would like you to do the same. and try to correct them by referring to what we have said. Please do not move on to the next chapter until you have fully mastered this one.EXERCISE Please now spend some time forming up the chord of G on the fingerboard and then strumming across the strings a few times and then taking your fingers off to rest. and they will probably remain so for several weeks. you are on your way to success. . but in time they will harden up. plodding tortoise got to the winning line first. the hare rushed off ahead at full steam. but please resist this. At first you will find that your fingers become rather sore from pressing on the strings. My face to face students would spend a week on this chord. but the slow.
behind the second fret. it is obvious that before we can actually start to play any songs it will be necessary for us to learn a few more chords. Step 1. we will start off with G. So.C6*$C8?H*89*$* If you look through any song book you will straight away see that in order to accompany the song on your guitar you need to play a number of chord one after the other. So. The above diagram shows you how the chord window looks. and then we will strum the chord of C a few times. run the plectrum across the 5th.$2&+. behind the third fret. The next step is for you to strum this chord in the same way as you did with the G chord. With your plectrum between your thumb and first finger. having said that. 3rd. When you have learnt to finger both the chords of G . an X above a string means that you do not play that string. in one complete movement. and C.()*#"J3*. and play 4 strums like this: . Step 3. on the 4th string. Chord of C We are now going to play the chord of C. Remember. behind the first fret. Step 2. Place your first finger. on the 2nd string. on the 5th string. because the next thing to do is to join these two chords together. and we will follow the same method as when we learnt the chord of G. Place your second finger. In other words. Now don’t worry if at first you hit the 6th string. but I have never come across them and I don’t think I would want to either as they might be rather boring! So. and so on. we will strum the chord of G a few times. Place your third finger. 4th. just as though you were dropping your hand down. and in time you will become more accurate. here goes. and then go back to G. then our study really becomes more interesting. I suppose there may be some songs that only use one chord. it’s not that serious. 2nd and 1st strings.
One little tip which some people find helpful is this. and forget for a moment the strumming. playing both of these chords. while you rest your left hand. If you are having problems with your plectrum please do persevere with it although it is ok now and again to use your thumb for strumming. and is ok. and each day this week. . like this: Then come back to the chord of G.e. each number i. If you are finding it difficult thinking about what you have to do with both of your hands at the same time. Spend some time now. Have a rest after you have played the sequence a few times. 2. and so on. the chord changing. then try this. Go through the chord changing sequence a number of times with your left hand. so that your right hand can maintain an even pace throughout. 4 represents one movement of the plectrum across the strings. but it takes time. In the long run however it will pay you to master the use of the plectrum. and then start again. Four strums of one chord and then four strums of the other chord. practise really does make perfect. Then when you are ready. Remember.Then move on to the chord of C. 3. so for each chord you move across the strings. Just concentrate on your left hand. At first you must expect to take some time in changing from one chord to the next. four times for each chord before changing. Then spend a little time strumming across the open strings with your right hand. 1. and probably your fingers will fumble about a bit. like this: Here it is written down: Now rest your fingers. that is perfectly natural. but what you should be aiming for is a nice smooth changeover from one chord to the next. try and put both actions together for the correct sound. or strum. Just to clarify.
before moving on. and I mean it. I would like you now to master another chord. The chord that we are going to play is D7. I mentioned earlier that the fun is now starting. .$2&+. so keep it up. then 4 strums of D7. you are doing well. then 4 strums of C. Here it is written down:- then rest your fingers. Now try strumming this chord. as mentioned earlier. because I would like you to join all the chords together.()*#(I(03*. but just before we do let me say a few words about how to know how many beats there are to a bar. We are going to play a little sequence together. remembering that you are trying to maintain a nice even. You can then take action. to put it right. and then finish with another 4 strums of G again. It’s time we played our first song.. then play each string individually in order to find out which string is at fault. the 6th string should remain silent if at all possible. Here is the chord. It would be a good idea to spend a week or so practising this sequence. tempo in your right hand strumming. but this time. and if it sounds a bit muffled or if there are any buzzes. Now the fun really begins. and just give you the chord window. and as you can see. or steady. Please repeat the above sequence a number of times. We will start off with 4 strums of G. instead of giving you step by step instructions I would like to move you on a bit.?*-<?7=*#8AD* Welcome to this chapter.
Please start strumming 3 beats to the bar after you have sung the first two words “In a”. When we come to a chord. You may not like any of the songs that I ask you to play. and it took time to change chords. and later on when you are a proficient player you can choose songs that you prefer to play. So if you need to play 4 chords of G it will look like this G///. but that does not matter while you are learning. Please do repeat this song over and over. instead of counting out the beats we will use the diagonal line system like this ////. One chord and 3 lines making a total of 4 strums of the chord. . and yes. You keep playing this until you get to the word “niner” on the 3rd line where you change back to G and so on. So. as promised. I know that you probably do not like that song. now to our first song.While we are still learning I would like us to follow this system. You sing “In a” then start to strum the G chord. how does it feel to have played your first song? I expect it was a bit jerky at first. nice steady strums until you come to the word “mine” on the second line where you change to D7. It will soon become smooth and even. say G for example. The guitar strum comes in on the word “cavern” So just to clarify for you. Well now. because at this stage we are doing what is best to learn to play. but just play them. We are going to play the well known song ‘Clementine’. but that’s ok.
Its one that you will know. and repeat the whole sequence 3 times through. try changing from the chord of C which we learnt earlier. so when in the exercise above you see G7 / / / you should be playing 4 strums of G7. then I would like us to go a stage further and link all the chords together that we have learned so far. or beats. We play 3 strums. like this:C / / / G7 / / / C / / / G7 / / / C / / / Remember that when you see this sign / it means one strum down across the strings. on to the chord of G7. the chord of G7. or at least part of that carol. the chord which is shown is one strum followed by / / / which represents 3 more strums. However. But do not let up yet. but for a smooth changeover from one chord to the next. and indeed you are. when you have spent some time with that exercise I would like you now to play another song which uses the chords of C and G7. When you feel fairly confident with the exercise that I have given you above. I would like you in fact to get to know a new chord.$2&+. and it’s the sort of thing that you can happily play around with for hours.()*(":2. In chord window form it looks like this:- Now. to each bar. i. it is the Christmas Carol – Silent Night. This is what I would like you to play:G / / / G7 / / / C / / / D7 / / / Play 4 strums on each chord. aiming not for speed. C SI–LENT NIGHT C HO–LY NIGHT .e.3*&A8=C6?*#8AD* I expect that by now you are beginning to feel that you are getting somewhere. so here we go. When you have got this right then I think you will agree with me that it sounds really good.
You change into G7 for the third line. Where I have put a line – between SI and LENT in the first line. Just to re-cap for a moment. when you play the above song. whereas LENT is just one strum. So. the first line is played with the chord of C. happy playing.e. you then continue playing C for the second line. and then back to C for the last line. you hold on to the first part of the word i.G7 ALL IS CALM C ALL IS BRIGHT Quite a short little piece. Please do not be tempted to rush ahead into the next chapter until you can play what we have covered so far. SI for 2 strums. it just indicates that when you are singing this or humming this. but before we do that we will have to learn a new chord. . but of course what we have played is only part of the song. We will probably return to this later in the course and add in the remainder of the song.
The following sequence will help with playing this chord. and gradually it will become easier. hence the letter o. and now I would like us to add another chord to our rapidly growing bank of chords. then I want you to add your second finger to the third string. and find it easy to master. When you manage to produce a clear sound from these two strings. you can add your third finger to the 4th string. but this time we are going to play the full song so that we can use that F chord. and the 6th string should not be played at all.()*0"0(3*&*06K*$C8?H* Welcome back. But first a word of warning. A glance at the chord diagram window will soon show you why nearly everyone has difficulty with this chord.$2&+. Now in order to be able to do this you must lay your first finger across the two strings and not play it in the usual manner which is with the tips of your fingers. At first you will think that you will never be able to master it. and when those 3 strings are sounding nice and clear. and you must expect to have to play it for quite some time before you will feel completely at home with it. but keep trying. You may just be the exception to the rule. We are going to play Silent Night again. Here it is:- Do you see now why it is such a hard chord to play? It is because your first finger must cover two strings instead of the usual one. Here it is:F / / / C / / / F / / / G7 / / / F / / / C / / / F / / / G7 / / / Now lets play a song using the F chord. and this will help you to get to grips with it. My experience has shown me that nearly every pupil that I have ever had has had trouble with this chord. Do expect to spend many weeks perfecting this chord as it does cause a lot of problems. but if you don’t then don’t despair as you are in good company. . The 5th string can be played open. and it will take some practice before you are able to do so.
and so when you can play them then you are starting to establish yourself. HO–LY NIGHT. G. C SI–LENT NIGHT. because when you have mastered this then believe you me. so here goes. As I have said before. . Finally. and D7 – I expect you will have.This time I will space out the song more as it would appear in a song book. the knowledge and experience you will gain from playing them will stand you in good stead for whatever type of music you eventually play. before moving on to the next piece. THE HOUR OF GRACE G7 C SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE G7 C SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE Now please spend some time on this. don’t forget that at this stage it really does not matter whether or not you like the songs that we are learning. please do not be tempted to rush ahead to the next chapter. G7. and see if you have any songs which use the chords C. You may even want to look into your own song collection now. but spend a week or two going over what we have done so far. so instead of 4 lines for the verse we will have two lines. one or more of them feature in most songs that you will come across. if you have one. for this chapter. and I want us to get everything right as we go along. you will have made a major step forward. F. We are in this for the long haul. G7 !C ALL IS CALM. FROM THY FACE F !C STRIKES FOR US. Those 3 chords which you have just played. ALL IS BRIGHT F !C LOVE IS SMILING.
and play what I have called the double strum rhythm. You could count – one and two and three and four etc. we form up a chord in our left hand. I would like you to play a sequence of chords using double strum. and back up across the strings. in order to get a good sound. So. You are in fact reversing the action of the strum. one and two and three and four etc.()*. This is where your plectrum runs across the strings from the 6th string. and then back up again. then take our plectrum and run across the strings. once that movement is complete we turn our wrist slightly and bring the plectrum back across the strings from the 1st to the 6th string. Down & Up. Its almost like letting your hand fall down. down across the strings. just as before. and then come back up again. Again. Down & Up. the down and up. which I will now refer to as the double strum. should take about a second or so to complete. and then immediately you bring your hand back up again hitting the 1st string first and then the other five so that your hand ends up where it began. Down & Up etc. you should have been using the single strum rhythm. Now let me just say that this rhythm will feel a little awkward at first. any chord. and then recovering it back up. The double strum involves us in moving our plectrum across the strings from the 6th to the 1st string. but do persevere with it as it is an excellent rhythm for playing along with songs.BB<AD* Before learning our next group of chords I would like to spend a little time talking about strumming. The down movement hits the 6th string first and continues across the other five. then the down stroke on the two and the up stroke on the and then the down stroke on the three and so on. You run the plectrum down across the strings. This is quite a quick movement. In order to really get to grips with the double strum. the bass string. Play four double strums on each of the chords. but then. Play the down stroke on the one and the up stroke on the and. producing one complete chord as opposed to six individual notes.(03*#=?. Like this:Down & Up. in one fairly quick movement.$2&+. Down up down up down up down up etc. I would like you to carry on playing the single strum rhythm. In the songs and chords that we have been playing so far. The whole movement. C / / / G7 / / / C / / / G7 / / / . to the 1st string. but I would also like you to move on a little. except of course you are hitting the strings.
I think that is enough for this lesson. then please try the following sequence. there is plenty there to get your teeth into.When you feel fairly happy with that. again using the double strum. G / / / D7 / / / G / / / D7 / / / G / / / Well done. .
We are taking it one step at a time.$2&+. So. when you have spent a few weeks on this. but also peaceful.B* Now this chapter of our course is only a short one. . and I have been playing a long time. FROM THY FACE F C STRIKES FOR US. I want you to spend some time on this because it is a style that will serve you well once you have mastered it. Now I would like you to spend a few weeks mastering this before you are tempted to go any further.()*(%(I(03*!8. it’s a gentle carol. You are aiming to have a smooth rhythm in your right hand. and when it is sounding good then go into the song. and I should know because I still use this style today. if you can master this then you will be making a big. Its not a rock song. and clear. THE HOUR OF GRACE G7 C SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE ! G7 C SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE So my suggestion is that you get the double strum going first of all. and a clean. but. but they are important steps.LE6*#=?. big. clear chord change in your left hand. ALL IS BRIGHT F C LOVE IS SMILING. step forward. And with a song like this not only are you trying to make it sound smooth. I will see you in the next chapter. using the chord of C. but this time using the double strum rhythm. HO – LY NIGHT G7 C ALL IS CALM. What are we going to do? We are going to play Silent Night again. So here is the song again:C SI – LENT NIGHT.
but two. Now try this exercise. as you do when fingering most chords. You just use two. Just remember with the A7 chord that you are not placing your fingertips on the strings.$2&+. Here is the chord of D in diagram form:- And here is the chord of A7 in diagram form:- Now the chord of D. and A7.@(%I(3*. and then your third finger is placed on the first string at the 3rd fret. They are the chord of D.()*. 3rd. The first and third fingers. Now I know that is not easy. but I can hear you saying “how on earth can you possibly play the chord of A7” It looks as though you need to use 5 fingers. with a little practice. and I believe that you are now ready to learn not just one new chord.K8*06K*$C8?H7* I would now like us to start moving ahead at a quicker pace. . should not prove to be too much of a problem for you. In single strum join up the two chords. What happens is that the first finger lays across the 2nd. and 4th strings at the 2nd fret. but in fact you don’t. Two chords which in fact nearly always seem to go together. but with practice (that word again) it should not prove too much of a problem for you. but you are laying your finger across the strings.
D / / / A7 / / / D / / / A7 / / / …and so on. this is lesson twelve. That’s all for this lesson. but just remember. and as always. you are making remarkably good progress. See you in the next lesson. you are trying not for speed. I think you have enough to cope with here. and now you are well on your way. When you feel fairly comfortable with that then try using the double strum on the same sequence. but you are trying for a smooth changeover from one chord to the next. You have probably wanted for a long time to learn to play the guitar. Don’t be tempted to rush ahead until you have mastered what we have done so far. .
and I have had 2 choices. like most songs. and see which you are most comfortable with. Chorus: D ! A7 !D GO TELL AUNT RHODIE. so please do keep going over and over it. So keep playing this song.A=*)C8H<6* Now. and that is. Often in my playing career I have been called upon to play a song which I have never heard of. but you can bet your life that that one performance has been practised dozens of times. this is the challenge for you. You can play it. see if you can track down the music score in a library or music shop. and if they do get them to hum it to you while you play along on your guitar. you have been working very hard.()*. Now that song. The song is called Aunt Rhodie. THE ONE SHE’S BEEN SAVING ! A7 D THE ONE SHE’S BEEN SAVING. Well. what should you do if you do not know some of the songs that I am giving you to play. and this is called research. HER OLD GREY GOOSE IS DEAD Verse: D !A7 D THE ONE SHE’S BEEN SAVING. takes a lot of practice before it becomes just right. This is great fun. TO MAKE A FEATHER BED Now repeat the chorus and finish.$2&+. and are making good progress. Secondly. or to go out and find the song and listen to it – I have always chose the latter. so this lesson is simply going to be devoted to learning one new song. Firstly. Thirdly. When you see a performer on the television it all looks so easy for them. Finally in this lesson I would like to answer one little query that you might have. and just remember how in quite a short period of time you have moved from zero knowledge to where you are now. and then relax a bit.((03*&. to go out and get to know them. and uses the chords of D and A7. I would like you to play the above song firstly in single strum and then in double strum. ! .2"). and the other songs. ask around to see if friends or family know the song. either to turn down the invitation. and then get somebody you know to either play it or sing it for you. see if you can track it down on CD in your local library. So here is what you can do. GO TELL AUNT RHODIE A7 D GO TELL AUNT RHODIE.
. and you will learn much when you carry out both. See you in the next lesson.Challenge and research is the name of the game here.
and as you progress you will find that more and more you are putting your own variations to various tunes. both physical and mental. on with the show. D7!/!/!/. Please play four single strums on each chord. keep up the good work. as well as being able to play it. D!/!/!/. Why am I asking you to do this? Because it’s a great way to get to know your chords. D7. A7. So. C!/!/!/. The reason for asking you to do this I will explain in just a moment.()*-. and you need to know how to write down a chord. please fill in the seven chords. I want you to copy out the chords onto the chord windows.com/Guitar and print out the chord windows that you will see there. G7!/!/!/. That was the mental bit that I referred to. G!/!/!/. . using the following sequence:C!/!/!/. you are doing well. F. and when you can finger it in your left hand without hearing any buzzes on the strings. but nothing great was ever achieved without a bit of struggle and perspiration.$2&+. What you need to do is go to www. Yes I know that it is hard going at times. G7 This is how you should do it for example for the chord of D. F!/!/!/. Now I want you to fill in some of those blank chord diagrams with all of the chords which we have learnt so far – the chords of G. Write it like this:- Now please do that for all of the seven chords that we have played and mastered so far in this course. A7!/!/!/ Now how did that sound and feel? It sounds good I think you will agree when you can play it with a smooth change from one chord to the next.((03*(M6?F<767* Right now.revolutionmind. Now.1). For the physical bit I am going to get you to play a large sequence of chords. I am going to get you to do some exercises. C. before you go any further. D. using all of the chords that we have learnt so far. This lesson is going to be a little different. So.
before you are tempted to move on to the next lesson.Now please repeat that sequence as often as you can. and then when you feel confident enough with this you can move on a bit and play the same sequence but with double strums. See you soon. When you can play that well you will have made a major move forward. . perfecting it. using single strums. Please do spend a couple of weeks on this. 4 on each chord.
but it is also one with a bit of a difference as we are going to be joining up all of the chords that we have mastered so far. C / / / F / / / G7 / / / C / / / Exercise 2. G / / / G7 / / / C / / / D7 / / / Exercise 3. D / / / D7 / / / G / / / A7 / / / Exercise 4. and you will be aiming to play the chords clearly. with no buzzing. and to play smoothly. I want you to play 4 strums on each of the chords which follow.((03*'8?6*(M6?F<767* Well now we have really come a long way since we started back in lesson one. This is what I want you to do. and a smooth changeover. So here we go. C / / / A7 / / / D / / / G7 / / / How did you get on? Please do work on this and aim for a clear sound.$2&+. This lesson is going to be quite a short one. so that when you come to change from one chord to the next there is no gaps between the chords. . Exercise 1. and when you have achieved that you can give yourself a pat on the back because you will have made real progress. Using single strums. See you in the next chapter.()*-"-. but I don’t want you to let up now.
which is of a selfexamination nature. not just wishing you could play. congratulations to you for getting this far. I am sure that you know it. I would like you to fill in on those blank windows all of the chords that we have learnt in this beginner’s course. just as you have been shown in the course. Now the next thing that I would like you to do is a little test. then you have certainly got started. but it does include that F chord and that needs a bit of working at. Once again I would like you to go to www. C Some starless night F And just in case you feel you want to hold her C You’ll have a pocket full of starlight It is quite straight forward.revolutionmind. and you are to be congratulated. And as you have reached this point. .com/Guitar and print off the blank chord windows. let’s play another song.$2&+. C Save it for a rainy day F For love may come and tap you on the shoulder. putting in the finger positions and also the fingers used. However. or thinking about learning to play.((03*$>=FC*&*->EE<AD*#=>?* Well now. but actually taking those first steps to really start playing. because that is often the hardest bit. Catch a Falling Star. C Never let it fade away C Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. there are still a number of things that I want us to do before we get to the end of this course. First of all. and you yourself can be the judge of how accurate you have been. Please play it in single strums C Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Here it is. You have almost worked through the beginner’s course. The beginners guitar course was written in order to get you started on playing the guitar. and if you have faithfully carried out all of the exercises.()*#"J.
That was a preparatory exercise. There are a few extra blank windows in case of mistakes. You can use your guitar to help you. but do try and see if you can mark in the chord windows without referring to the course. see you in Chapter 17. You will have to either copy out some chord windows by hand in order to do this. So this concludes this lesson. but there you could have referred back to earlier chapters and copied the chord windows. or perhaps you can photocopy the chord windows from your reader device. This time I want you to do it without turning back to the earlier chapters. .I know that you did a similar exercise in Chapter Fourteen.
$2&+. just able to do everything right. and as mentioned enclose a completed chord window chart. and you will not be able to obtain this from any other source. Send your letter/cheque to:John 14 Ashlyn Grove Ardleigh Green Essex. registration and post and packing. We have available an entirely optional self examination test. PLEASE NOTE: There is no other way in which you can obtain this excellent certificate. You must enclose a cheque for $29.((03*$8. but a rare opportunity to show to everybody what progress you have made.99 which includes the cost of certificate. . you have done really well.()*#(I(0. in a reasonably proficient manner. You must have worked through the course and be able to do everything that has been taught. Good luck if you decide to apply. Remember that this is optional. and this must be sent to me here.?76*$6?=<9<F>=6*N/6D<AA6?7O* If you have got this far. RM11 2EG U.K. and this is what is required should you decide to take the test. You do not need to be professional at it. and you deserve some recognition for this. other than the way given above. You must have filled in all the chord windows accurately. saying that you have completed the course. You must carefully print the name that you want inscribed on to your certificate. then there is no question about it. You must write to me.
whether you are playing single or double strums. Your friend and fellow guitar player. by taking the intermediate course you will qualify for automatic silver membership of the very exclusive Guitar Appreciation Club. and try not to play the strings which have an X over them.00 which includes administration and postage charges. please send a cheque to the value of $39. I did not want to overwhelm you at the beginning of your guitar career. You have come a long way since when you first started this course. Always aim for an even tempo in your right hand. but I am sure that you are now keen to move forward even further. can I now suggest that you enrol in the intermediate course? This intermediate course carries on from where the beginners course left off. congratulations. You need to have spent a minimum of 12 weeks on the beginners course before you can apply for the intermediate course. With this in mind. and will expand your knowledge of the guitar considerably. and I knew that if I could do this then we would be able to make a guitar player out of you. Also. but I did not want to do this. only play the strings which are marked. Please be aware that this course will be sent to you in printed form. I really do look forward to hearing from you. Do not let them lean over and touch the next door string. At the end of the intermediate course there is also an optional self test which when completed will qualify you for the intermediate certificate.((03*)6P<6K*&AH*. just behind the frets. but more about that in the intermediate course. THE NEXT STEP Once again. In order to receive the intermediate course.C6*06M=*#=65* REVIEW – Additional points to take note of. I could have packed a lot of information into this beginners course.$2&+. Make sure that you press the strings firmly. and I could have padded it out to make it look bigger. Always be sure that your fingers only touch the strings that they should be fingering. and will make you a much better and more accomplished player. . my main aim was to get you started.()*(":2. If you can. and as it were to get you hooked on playing.
Please Note: If you are applying for your beginners certificate and also applying for the Intermediate course at the same time. RM11 2EG U. then please send two cheques as these are administered by 2 different departments.K . . Send to: John 14 Ashlyn Grove Ardleigh Green Essex.
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