Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson: The Star Spangled Banner

Hi again, fellow picker.

Someone was asking about a fingerstyle version of 'The Star Spangled Banner' at my forum the other day. I had a quick listen to a few online versions and came up with a pretty challenging but very fun to play arrangement, which is this week's lesson. Americans can count themselves lucky indeed to call such a beautiful piece of music their national anthem. The version I came up with has been stripped right back, but I did manage to weave some of those ornate bass lines into it. It's the usual movie/midi/tab/commentary format, and you can find it at Guitar for Beginners and Beyond.

The forum at GfB&B continues to grow in leaps and bounds. We passed the 10,000 member mark yesterday and it was WernHalen, member from South Africa, who won the contest. I'll be sending him his prize, the PlaneTalk book and DVD package, out today. Congrats, WH!

If you're wondering what PlaneTalk is ... it is, of course, the book that reveals the 'trick' to seeing the whole fretboard (not just the first four or five frets) as familiar, well worn territory. I guess all guitarists spend the first few years hanging around the open chord zone -- the first five frets -- wondering how to take full advantage of the rest of the neck. I know I did! Anywhere up past the second fret marker was No Mans Land! I had no idea how to mentally organize the maze of fret wire and strings up there, but I could see that some of my guitar heroes had no trouble at all navigating that wasteland. I made it my mission to come up with a way of nailing the music down in the upper reaches of the neck and did eventually come up with the simplest of methods. I took me the best part of 20 years, so if you're on the same quest, why don't you save yourself the time and effort. You'll kick yourself for not seeing the obvious! Check it out at the PlaneTalk Site. I didn't subtitle it "The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book" for nothing, as you will find out when you visit. Read some testimonials here.

Are you into Slide Guitar? If so, drop in to my other other site, Bottle Neck Guitar dot Com and join the forum. We have some great players there, willing and able to pass on their expertise. You can check out my brand of slide playing at my Soundclick site, where I recently passed the 100,000 listens mark!

OK, back to work on the 'How to Play Slide in Dropped D and Standard Tunings' DVD!

All the best,

Kirk Lorange

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