Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson: Mason Williams' Classical Gas

Hi again ... I'm back this week with a real doozey. I've been meaning to do it for months now, but it's quite the piece to tab out, so I've kept i on the back burner. I always knew it was a hodge-podge of time signatures, but it wasn't until yesterday that I picked it apart and realized just what an incredible composition it is. I'm referring, of course, to Mason Williams' Classical Gas. I was in my teens when it hit the airwaves, and you can imagine what a spine tingler it was for someone like me, just embarking on the path of a guitarist. Nothing like it had ever been released, a semi classical guitar with an orchestra plus a rocky rhythm section pushing it all along. Wow! I sat right down, there and then, and figured out how to play it ... well, the guitar part anyway ... as best I could.

I've done the first section here, there are a couple of other parts, but I think you'll be busy enough with this for a long time. You're going to see that it keeps switching between different time signatures ... something I found out tabbing it out. THIS IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS!

Go to Guitar For Beginners and Beyond, follow the Weekly Lessons link.

If you're at he stage in your playing where you feel good about the basics, you can grasp the concept of barre chords, scales, harmony ... but, you're still wondering how to map it all out so you can use the whole fretboard, so you can improvise and invent on the spot, then drop in to the PlaneTalk site. It's just what you need to get you up to the next stage. It teaches the 'trick' to doing just that.

I've loaded some new tunes up to my Soundclick page ... played to some backing tracks I'm going to be using in my 'How to Play Slide Guitar in Standard and Dropped D' DVD, which I'm (still) working on.

OK, you'll hear from me next week with yet another free lesson!


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