Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson: Country Pickin'

Hello once again, fellow guitar enthusiast.

This week I've done a lesson on a country pickin' style made famous by that great writer, John Prine. If you haven't heard of him yet, do yourself the favor. His wonderful lyrics capture life's moments, large and small, in wonderful, poignant and funny detail, and he is the master of building great melody lines around his three favorite chords -- G, C and D. He uses a sort of Travis picking style, thumb and fingers, and makes good use of those chords' hammer-on/pull-off possibilities.

Go to Guitar for Beginners and Beyond.

While you're there, make sure you enter the contest, which is to guess the date we hit 10,000 members. The prize is the PlaneTalk Book/Slide-Rule/DVD package (valued at $US69). You can also take advantage of the ever growing database of lessons, all movie/tab/midi/commentary. You really can't help but learn. Not only that, we have made it dead easy for you to upload your recordings for appraisal, constructive critique, or just showing off. You should hear some of the great players we have there, of all ages.

My book PlaneTalk (as if you didn't know already), subtitled The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book, reveals the 'trick' to seeing the whole fretboard as familiar, friendly territory; the 'trick' to being able to improvise over any chord progression without once thinking 'scale' or 'mode'. Here is some recent feedback I received from Richard N, a customer from Arkansas:

"If someone wants to know about playing guitar, or about any music-related subject under the sun, here's hoping that person discovers PlaneTalk. Not only is the method the most innovative, eye-opening system I have ever seen ... I am always fascinated to hear from players who have learned using other methods including formal jazz training, pentatonic scales, mastering the modes, etc. ... saying how PlaneTalk really is the basis for all of it. What that really says is, once someone really takes the time to make PlaneTalk his own, then the entire spectrum of music is open to him. And I cannot imagine any other method that can make that statement."

So, if you're one of the many players who have 'hit the wall' ... who have all the basics under control but are still wondering how it is that some players can access the music all over the fretboard and make it all up on the fly, check it out at the PlaneTalk site. Let it punch a big hole through that wall.

If you're interested in the art of playing slide guitar, why not join the Slide Guitar Forum? We have some great players there, willing to share their tips n tricks. If you're interested in hearing my brand of music, you can listen to a bunch of tracks here.

OK, until next week,


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