It unit 2 we're taking a big swing to a completely different style, with an overarching aim to massively improve your legato playing. Legato, which essentially translates as smooth playing, is such an important part of developing your fingerstyle. It enables you to play smooth melody lines within your chord movements, and Thomas has written a beautiful Celtic-style tune to demonstrate this. So, when ready, pick up your guitars!
in this unit we have a lot to work through to develop your legato playing, so we're going to dive straight into the first part of the track. Let's check out the tab in the Guitar Tabs section.
So let's start by breaking down the core chords, which are for the majority simply a D major chord! We do have a few powerchords in here though, so we'll show you those as well! Take a look at the Chord Boxes section to see what the shapes look like.
This opening section is so much more than it's basic chords, so take your time with the video and make sure you follow Thomas' fingers exactly, It's fiddly, it's twiddly, and it's total magic!
With the first section on its way, let's turn our attention to section B, where we build upon our opening idea.
The good news here is that the whole section is based around an A7 chord. That's it! The chord chart here would therefore look like this:
The purpose of this lesson is to decipher where we are getting these flowing lines from. There is a lot happening over each basic chord shape here, so we can really take a deep dive to help you understand the theory behind this, and therefore help you create it yourself in the future.
So, the whole track is in the key of D major. That means that we are generally using the D major scale to create a melody here. The D major scale looks like this: (you can also find it on the Fretboard Diagrams section)
This is the scale we are working with for the track, and we can very much pick from any of those notes for the melody. Try to take the notes from Section A on the tab and match them up to this scale shape, as that's a great exercise for starting to match the sound to a scale.
Now then, when we hit Section B it starts to get interesting. This sound, which is a huge part of Celtic music, is based around something called the Mixolydian scale. The Mixolydian scale is quite simply a major scale with a flattened 7th. In this instance, we are using the A Mixolydian scale, which when you compare to A Major, looks like this:
Notice how this is exactly the same scale shape as D major! That's because A mixolydian is the 5th mode of D major, so they use the same notes but very much resolve on the root of A, rather than D.
This is a great time to experiment with this concept. How to take a single scale shape and make it sound more major, focusing on the D, or more Mixolydian, focusing on the A as the root. In the track, Thomas guarantees his success by using a drone of the A root note underneath the lead line, but he still has to be careful not to resolve to the D note! Have some fun with it!
Let's now move into the final section of this track. Take a look at the tab in the Guitar Tabs section to see what it looks like.
For this final section, we are simply using the same chord set up as in section A plus a very cool ending section. it looks like this:
One really cool element within this section is the sneaky little D mixolydian note. If you remember, with Mixolydian, we are taking the usual major scale (D major in this case) and flattening the 7th. This gives us this:
For our final lesson of the track Thomas takes you through note by note to get the song played all the way through. He kicks off at around 70BPM and starts to work up from there. Take your time at each speed level, and don't rush this process. In all likelihood, it will take some time to get the piece ready to play along even with the slowest speed, as it can be very fiddly!
Best of luck, and we'll see you in Unit 3!
We have incredible tutors to provide you with feedback each month as part of your subscription.
Connect & chat with like-minded students & your mentors via our wonderful community.
Find the structure you desperately need to progress and take the next steps in your playing.
Get feedback every month from our YGA mentors by submitting a video of you playing.
You'll have every single backing track and jam track for every single course.
Our mentors go live once a week to chat to you, and discuss fun guitar topics!
Tab that moves along with the music! Slow down, loop and speed change with this interface.
No more YouTube ads or selling segments. Just the core content for the course.