Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson: Bossa Nova Rhythm Guitar

Hi, once again, fellow picker. Sorry about missing out on last week's GNW.

Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson

Rhythm guitar is usually associated with strumming, but you can play rhythm finger style too. The 'Bossa Nova' is a great example of this. I believe it means something like 'New Wave' in Brazilian, but it's basically a Samba feel that originated back in the late 1950s. I remember as a kid hearing legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd playing these feels with saxophonist Stan Getz on one of the first commercial Bossa Nova records. What beautiful chords they were, and what a great lilting jazzy vibe he set up on his nylon string.

In this week's I've strung together a bunch of those nice sounding chords and demonstrated my own version of how to play the Bossa Nova rhythm. I successfully avoided all barre chords, so I think even if you're just starting out, you can at least have a go at this. Like everything else, once you get your muscles to remember the moves, you'll be on your way.

Bossa Nova Rhythm Guitar Lesson

Guitar for Beginners and Beyond

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PlaneTalk - The truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book/DVD

I've got a 'Month of March Special' on: buy the book/DVD and I'll throw in the Chord Tone Blues CD lesson, normally $30. In this lesson, I show you in great detail how to play the blues without once thinking about scales or modes. You really only need to know the chords. The lesson consists of five movies, graphics, mp3 backing tracks and commentary ... 450 Mbs worth. I use a slow blues in G backing track, the one I use in 'The Red Strat Blues' movie on the home page of the site.

So, you've got a few days left to take advantage of this deal. Order it here. Read some of the many testimonials here.

Slide Guitar in Standard and Dropped-D Tunings

As I'm sure you know by now, I love slide guitar. I especially love playing it in Standard tuning, probably because I've been doing it since about 1975. Like most, I started out with open tunings, but reverted to Standard after experimenting with it a bit and finding that it was in fact a very rich fretboard environment for finding all the flavors of music -- major, minor, major 7, minor 7, augmented, diminished, sus 4 -- you name it, it's there in some format ready to be twanged. The beauty, of course, is that you don't need to re-map the fretboard. My favorite way of playing is a hybrid normal/slide style. I keep that slide on my pinkie all the time. I've loaded an excerpt from the DVD up at YouTube (a slightly doctored excerpt) for you to watch if you're interested. I use dropped D in the movie, but I only tune the bass sting down, so for all intents and purposes, it's standard.

Learn more about the DVD here.

Enjoy the Bossa Nova lesson!

All the best,


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