In this first unit, Thomas will be introducing you to the idea of "grabbing chords". Everything we've done up to this point has been working with single fingerpicking, which is an essential foundation. Now we're upgrading to be able to choose when we want to pluck more than just one note from the chord. It's an exciting step up, so pick up your acoustic and let Thomas guide you through how it works.
Before we kick off, Check out the full tab for the song in the Guitar Tabs section. This is essentially a loop with lots of musical layers on top of the core guitar part. In the Guitar Tabs section is the loop, which you repeat 8 times for the entire song.
Now that we know what we're aiming to be able to play, let's talk about how we get there, step by step. The technique of grabbing chord chunks is relatively simple, but it takes a bit of time to "feel right" in your fingers. In this lesson, we'll use the opening C major chord to practice the technique. So, first up, let's make sure we're all playing the C major chord correctly.
With the chord fretted, we can now focus on the right hand. Let's use the tab in the Guitar Tabs section to take a deeper dive. Your first task is to practice the first two bars, using this loop until you start to get the feeling for this new technique. Good luck!
Before we get stuck into this specific song, let's have a quick chat about melody within chords. At this level, if you're looking to start working with melody in your open chords, there is a nice simple way to get started. It's worth first knowing how the basic chord triad is made.
For example, if we took a D major chord, the root, third and fifth would be as shown in the diagram below. You may want to do a melody going from the 3rd to the root. So the chord movement might look like this:
Have a try for yourself with any chords you like. Thomas used a cool 2 6 5 1, which in the key of C major gives you:
Start with these chords and then experiment on your own! Have a bit of fun with this before we dive into the core song in the next lesson.
With all the theory and concept out of the way, let's now dive into the chord progression, starting with the first 4 chords with the melody. So, the chords in question are:
Your task is to work through the chords, adding the melody as is shown in the tab in the Guitar Tabs section. Thomas guides you through it nice and slowly in the video. Take your time! Remember, this is a new technique, so don't worry if it takes a while... That is the way it should be!
Let's now continue to work through the rest of the track. The full chord progression is as shown here:
The elephant in the room is that ruddy F major chord! It's a tough chord to fret, so we want to give you a few options, depending on your current level. Here are a few ways to work with the F major:
This goes from easy to hard, so see where you are at and what works best for you. If you use the first version, you can simply exchange the low F note for the one of the D string, as Thomas explains in the video. Once you've decided which F to use, you can work through the rest of the track, adding the melody as you go!
So, let's now piece the entire thing together and start trying to get it in time with the audio tracks. Work slowly here. Accuracy is more important than rushing the speed.
And there we have it! As and when you feel ready, start trying to play this along with the tracks in the Lesson Backing Tracks section (using the slower tracks first of course) and move on to unit two when ready.
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