Kirk's Column: Changing the Feel

Hi once again, fellow Fan of the Twang.

Last week I posted a sort of classical approach to an old folk standard, Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'. This week I took the same tune in the same key, using the same chords in the same positions and the same melody ... what I changed is the 'feel'. 'Feel' is a word that comes up often when discussing music, and can usually be replaced with the word 'style'. So this week's version has more of a folk feel to it, rather than last week's classical feel. This was achieved by basing everything around a standard folky fingerpicking pattern, into which the melody line was inserted. I think you're going to find this lesson a lot of fun to get your fingers around. It's certainly more challenging that the fairly straight forward version you learned last week. Hopefully, though, you have mastered that one and your hands are familiar with the chord shapes, because they are identical this week.

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

In other news:

My book PlaneTalk continues to filter into World at large. Oman, in the Middle East, is a new destination. Thanks Vinay! PlaneTalk (as if you don't already know) teaches the simple yet all-powerful visualization 'trick' to seeing the entire fretboard as familiar, friendly, negotiable territory. If you're still at the stage where you have a pretty good idea of how music works (what chords are and where they can be found, what scales/modes are), but the fretboard as a whole remains an indecipherable maze of strings and fretwire, then do yourself a favor: drop in and check it out. It took me close to 20 years of playing to stumble over the obvious ... you can save yourself all that time. There IS a master template, one that accommodates all aspects of music, one that comes in especially handy when improvising. And as if that wasn't enough, you can also join the PlaneTalkers Forum, where all bona fide customers can discuss the simple technique at length with me and other PlaneTalkers. We all agree there's no better way to look at a fretboard than the PlaneTalk way.

Come to PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book.

My beautiful brass slides, machined from solid metal, are back on the market. My year long trip away to Canada prevented me from selling them (they're way too heavy to lug halfway around the World), but I'm back now and I've had a new batch lathed. I do the final polishing myself and they wind up like little ingots, heavy and just dying to come into contact with guitar strings. They are slightly shorter than the usual length because I design them for dropped D tuning, where there's no need to span more than 4 strings, and they have a little extra thickness at the finger tip end to add more weight. Weight equals sustain when it comes to slides, and these sustain forever. Check them out here.

If you are a fan of slide guitar (how could anyone NOT be?), you should join the Slide Guitar Forum, where an ever growing bunch of us yak away about the art. We're always on the lookout for new members ...

I recently was sent a beautiful backing track of a great tune called Footsteps to which I overdubbed an electric slide solo. I loaded it up at my Soundclicks page, and it climbed to Number One in the Jazz General charts in two days flat. Listen to it here if you're interested in how to turn a Fender Stratocaster into a muted trumpet. It's a free download, as are most of the other tunes I have at that site. I'm still working on my 'How to play slide guitar in dropped D and standard tuning' DVD, so stay in touch.

OK, until next week, that's it for me!



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