Kirk's Column: Orchestral Guitar

Hi again, fellow twanger, I'm back.

This week's lesson is much more straight forward than the last couple ... that 'Blackwood Stroll' is not the easiest piece to get around. This one is a simple progression in the style of James Taylor. James is the man who, thirty years ago, made everyone sit up and take notice of his beautifully crafted pop songs and his wonderful guitar playing. I myself was a budding young finger style player at the time, and when I heard his classical sounding technique played on steel string, I knew this was a sound that would be around for ever more. After seeing a picture of JT on the back of a Carole King album playing a Gibson J-50, I went to the pawn shop district of Montreal, and to my amazement found the exact same guitar for $150. It was second hand, dated back to 1951, and sounded just like JT's. It's been with me ever since and is the guitar featured in all these lessons.

Go to Guitar for Beginners and Beyond and follow the Weekly Lesson links.

If you're at the stage where you understand the basics, you know all your chords, scales, you understand the concept of barre chords, you know songs and riffs and licks and you can play solos that you've learned not for note ... you can even fake your way through some improvisation so long as it's 12 bar blues ... you've got all the elements pretty well under control, but you still can't seem to bring them all together on the fretboard and turn them into music ... If this sounds like you, then do yourself the favor and visit my other site. My book PlaneTalk reveals the ultra simple visualization technique that does exactly that ... turns your entire fretboard into friendly familiar territory no matter what the music is doing. Sandy from Australia wrote me yesterday with this quick note:

"You would not believe how much your method has changed my playing and understanding of the guitar (well, I guess you would really!) handful of bucks I ever spent."

Check it out at PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book. You won't regret it. There are many free lessons there too, some of them slide lessons.

Have a listen to my music at my SoundClick page. My version of Georgia is still number 1 in the Jazz charts there. Help yourself to the free downloads.

Come and join in at the Slide Guitar Discussion Forum if you're into that style of playing. We have some great players there, all happy to give away their tips and tricks.

OK, until next week, cheers and all the best,


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